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4 




ENGLISH LITERATURE 

BASED CHIEFLY ON 
BULHNCirS "ACE OF FABLE" 

ACCOMPAHtED BY 
JNTERPRETATIVB AND ILLUSTRATIVE COMMENTARY 



EDITED BV 

CHARLES MILT^ GAYLEY 

PanrusoK of nil Ekcush Lanovacb amd Litbratubb 
IK TMK Umvwrsmr or Cauiwkiha 



\ 



NOTE TO THE READER 

The paper in this volume is brittle or the 
inner margins are extremelY narrow. 

We have hound or rebound the volume 
utilizing the best means possible.. 

PLEASE HANDLE WITH CARE 



Gkncral Bookbinding Co., Chkstciiland. Ohio 



610730 



COF VICKT, 1B93, 

Hv CHARLES MILLS GAVLEY. 



AlX RlCRTI RiSBRVKD. 




TyroGiurHV by J. S. Cvsmva & Co., Bovtoh. U.S4A. 

PRKSSWORK IV GlNH & Co., BoSTON, U.S.A. 




It has long been evident to tne that much of our best English 
poetry lies beyond the imaginative reach of many readers because 
of their unfamiliarity with the commonplaces of literary allusion, 
reference, and tradition. Of such commonplaces few are more 
frequently recurrent than the situations and agencies of myth. 

In view of this consideration, the Academic Council of the 
University of California, some two years ago, introduced into its 
requirements for entrance in English the subject of Classical My- 
thology in its relation to English Literature, and recommended, 
as a icxt-book for preparrition, Riilfinch's Age of Fable. The 
experience of English and classical teachers in the schools of the 
state has attested the wisdom of the requirement ; but the demand 
for some text-book adapted to the needs of the class-room has 
made necessary the preparation of this volume. For, while the 
Age of Fable offers a templing collection of Greek, Noise, and 
Oriental narratives with illustrations from English literature, — 
while it has delighted one generation of American boys and girls, 
and will, no doubt, delight many generations to come, — it was 
designed neither as a school-book nor as a systematized presenta- 
tion and interpretation of the myths that have most influenced 
English literature. 

At the request of my publishers^ I have accordingly under- 
taken such a revision and rearrangement of the materials of the 
Age of Fable as may adapt it to the purposes of teacher and 
pupil, and to the taste of readers somewhat more advanced in 
years than those addressed by the original work or by the edition 
which bears the name of the Rev. Edward Everett Hale. But, 






I 



VJ 



after a year's work, I find that half my material for copy is 
altogether new, and that the remainder dilTers in many impor- 
tant respects from the book upon which it was based. Conse- 
quently, while the obligation to the Age of Fable is acknowledged 
in full, a new tille has been selected for this volume. • For, neither 
my publishers, nor I, would desire to have the scholarship or the 
taste of Mr. Bulfinch held accountable for liberties that have been 
taken with his work. 

In the Classic Myths in English Literature, Chaps. XXV,-XXX., 
containing paraphrases of the Iliad, the Odyssey, and of certain 
Norse lays, are a revision of corresponding chapters in the Age 
of Fable. Chaps. IX.-XXIII., comprising Attributes of Roman 
Divinities, Myths of the Greater Divinities of Heaven, Earth, the 
Underworld, and the Waters, Myths of the Lesser Divinities of 
the same regions, Myths of the Older Heroes, and Myths of the 
Younger Heroes, represent a careful rearrangement and recom- 
position of the original materia], section by section, and frequently 
paragraph by paragraph, — such portions of the Age of Fable as 
have been retained being abridged or rewritten, and, in places 
too frequent to enumerate, supplemented by new and necessary 
sentences, paragraphs, and sections. The Inlroduciion, the first 
eight chapters (on the origin, elements, distribution, and preser- 
vation of myth, the Creek myths of the creation, and the at- 
tributes of Greek divinities), Chaps, XXIV. and XXXI. (on the 
Houses concerned in the Trojan War, and the old Norse and 
German heroes), choice of illustrations, the footnotes referring to 
sources, and the Commentary are wholly, or essentially, my own. 

Although in the Index of Mythological Subjects the more com- 
mon myths of some other nations are briefly slated, no myths save 
those known to the Greeks, Romans, Norsemen, or Germans have 
been included in the body of the text. The scope of selection has 
been thus confined for three reasons : first, the regard for necessary 
limits ; second, the desirability of emphasizing only such myths as 
have actually acclimated themselves in Knglish-speaking lands, and 
have influenced the spirit, form, and habit of English tmaginativj 





PREFACE 



va 



I 



I 



thought; third, the necessity of excluding all but the unques- 
tionably classic. The term Classic^ however, is, of course, not 
restricted to the products of Greece and Rome ; nor is it 
cniijloyed as synonymous with Classical or as antithetical to 
Romantic. From the extreme Classical to the extreme Romantic 
is a far cry; but as human life knows no divorce of necessity 
from freedom, so human art knows neither an unrelieved Classi- 
cal nor an unrestrained Romantic. Classical and Romantic are 
relative terms. The Classical and the Romantic of one genera- 
tion may merit equally to be the Classics of the next. Therefore 
certain Hellenic myths of romantic spirit or construction have 
been included in this work ; and certain Norse and German myths 
have not been excluded. Whatever is admitted, is admitted as 
first-class: first-class, because simple, spontaneous, and beautiful; 
because fulfilling the requirements of perennial freshness, of 
aesthetic potency, and of ideal worth. 

In the matter of illustrative English and American poems the 
principle of selection has been that the verses shall translate a 
myth from the classic original, or exemplify the genuine poetic 
idealization and embellishment of the subject, or suggest the spirit 
and mien of ancient art. Hut in each case regard has been had 
to the aesthetic value of the poem or the citation. In the search 
for suitable examples I have derived valuable assistance from 
Mr. E. Q. Guild's Bibliography of Greek Mythology in English 
Poetry of the Nineteenth Century (Bowdoin College, Library 
Bulletin, No. i). 

In the Commentar)* four things have been attempted : first, an 
explanation, under each section, of ordinary textual difficulties; 
second, an unpretentious exposition of the myth or a brief state- 
ment of the more evident interpretations advanced by philologists 
or ethnologists ; third, an indication of certain additional jwems or 
verses that illustrate the myth ; fourth, special mention of a few 
masterpieces of ancient and modern sculpture and painHng that 
may serve to introduce the student or the general reader to a 
field of aesthetic profit neglected by the great mass of our people. 






PJiEFACS, 

Since this book is intended for students of English poetry,' 
since in Knglish poetry l^tin names of mythological charac- 
ters are much more frequently employed than Greek, the Latin 
designations, or Latinized forms of Greek names, have been, so far 
as possible retained. In the chapters, however, on the attributes 
of the Greek gods, names exclusively Greek have been placed 
in parentheses after the usual Roman equivalents, Latin appel- 
lations, or designations common to both Greek and Roman usage. 
In the transliteration of Greek names I have followed, also, the 
prevalent practice of our poets, which is, generally speaking, the ^ 
practice of the Romans. The diphthong «, for instance, is trans<fl|| 
literated according to the accepted English pronunciation, which 
in indindual words perpetuates the preference of the latins for 
the c, or the i, respectively. So *KTp€iZrp becomes Atrides; 
noo-fi&ui', Posldon J l<fnfi.ihtiaf Iphimedla. But, on the other 
hand, KvBipua I^ecomes C'ytherea ; ITiyMto?, Peneus ; and MiJ^«ta, 
Medea. On the same principle, such a name as ♦ctS«n would 
be anglicized not Pheidias, nor even Phidias, but — Phidias, A 
few names of islands, towns, persons, etc., that even in I^iin 
retain their Greek forms, such as Delos, Naxos, Argos, Aglauros, 
Pandrosos, have been transferred without modification. In short, 
the practice aimed at has been not that of scientific uniformity, 
but of acknowledged poetic usage. ^| 

For the benefit of readers who have failed to acquire the funda-^" 
mental rules for the pronunciation of Greek and Latin proper 
names in English, a brief statement of mles is prefixed to the In- 
dex ; and in the Index of Mythological Subjects and their Sources^— 
names are not only accented, but, when there is possibility of erroq^f 
syllabicated. 

In the preparation of the Text and Commentary more or less use 
has been made of: Roscher's Ausfiihrliches Lexicon der Griech- 
ischen und Rdmischcn Mythologie {Lie/erungen 1-2 1, Teubner, 
Leipzig); Preller's Griechische Mythologie (2 Bde., BerUn : 1861); 
Max MUller's Chips from a German Workshop, Science of Religion 
(Lond. : 1873), Science of Language (7th ed. 2 v., Lond. : 1873), 






Oxford Essa)-? (1856) ; Sir G. W. Cox's Mythology of the Aryan 
Nations (2 v., I^ntl. : 1878) ; Welcker's Griechische Gotterlehre ; 
Baumeister's Denltmaler des Klassischen Alterthums ; Murray's 
Manual of Mythology (N. Y. : 1880): Smith's Dictionary of Greek 
and Roman Biography and Mythology ; Duruy's Histories of 
Rome and Greece ; Keightley's Greek and Roman Mythology ; 
Kclscy's Outline of Greek and Roman Mythology (Boston: 1889); 
Horn's Geschichte der Literalur des Skandinavischen Nordcns 
(Leipzig: 1880) ; Cleasby and Vigfusson*s Icelandic Diclionaiy ; 
LOning's Die Edda (Zurich: 1859); Vigfusson and PowelKs 
Corpus Poeticum Boreale (2 v., Oxford : 1883) ; Paul's Gnindriss 
der Germanischen Philologie, i Bd., 5 Lfg. (article Myihoh^e, by 
E. Mogk); Grimm's Teutonic Mythology (translated by Stally- 
brass, 3 v.) ; Werner Hahn's Das Nibelungenlied j Lang's Myth, 
Ritual, and Religion (2 v., Lond. : 1887), and Mythology (Encyc. 
Brit., vol. 9) ; Tylor's Anthropology (N. Y. : 18S1) and Primitive 
Culture (2 V.) ; J. W. Powell's Annual Reports of the Bureau o( 
Ethnology (7 v., beginning 1879-80, Washington, D.C.) ; Keary's 
Outlines of Primitive Belief; Fiske's Myths and Mythmakers 
(Boston) ; Whitney's Oriental and Linguistic Studies; The Ori- 
gin of Myth, an exquisite and sympathetic lecture too little 
known to the public, by Professor, now President, William Pres- 
ton Johnston of Tulane University (published by Morton & Co.» 
I>ouisville : 1872) ; and of other works to which due reference is 
made in the footnotes and Commentary. The student is also 
referred to F. B. Jcvons' edition of Plutarch's Romane Questions 
(transl. by Philemon Holland, Lond.: 1892) (introduction on 
Roman Mythology) ; and to C. G. Leland's Etruscan- Roman 
Remains in Popular Tradition (Lond. : 1892). 

For the illustrative cuts in the Text, I am indebted in some 
cases directly to Baumeister and Roscher, in other cases to the 
selection made by Messrs. Allen and Greenongh, in their admi- 
rable school editions of Vergil and Ovid, from Baumeister, Roscher, 
the Archaologische Zeitung (Berlin). Herculaneum and Pompei 
(by H, Roux Ain^), Millin's Galerie Mythologique (Paris : 1811), 






MQlIer's Denkmaler der Alten Kunst (Gottingen : 1832), and 
other collections, to which reference is made in the List of Illus- 
trations prefixed lo the Text, The Maps, furnished by Messrs. 
Ginn & Co. from other of their publications, have, with the kind 
consent of the authors of those works, in some instances been 
adapted by me to suit the present purpose. 

I take this opportunity of returning especial thanks to Messrs. 
W. B. Everett and W. S. Soule of the Soule Photograph Co. 
(338 Washington St., Boston), for the liberal collection of photo- 
graphs, from works of art illustratinpf mythological subjects, thai 
they have placed at my disposal, and of calling attention to the 
edition of this work (interleaved for illustration by photographs) 
to be published by that company. I also acknowledge the kind- 
ness of Mr. W. K, Vickery ( Publisher and Art Deal er , 324 Pos t 
St., San Francjgcg^. who has lent me many photographs and 
engravings of works of art that, otherwise, might have escaped 
my notice. 

In conclusion, I would acknowledge gratefully my obligation to 
my esteemed colleague, Pro fessor Isaac Flagg , for untiring assist- 
ance in the reading of proof, and for critical suggestions not a few 
of which have been adopted. 

tBerMey, Calif crnioy 
I May i^tfi, /SfpJ. 



FOURTH EDITION. 

To this and the preceding edition have been added a number 
of full-page illustrations of which the list is given on p. xxviii. 
I wish to express my gratitude to Professor Walter Miller of Stan- 
ford, lo Professor I. N. Demmon of Michigan, and to Professor 
Harold N. Fowler of Western Reser\'e, for suggestions which have 
been of assistance in the revision of the text and commentary. 



BerkfUy, 

AW. 



J 3th, /Sgj. 






UST OF ILLUSTRATIONS xxii 

LIST OF MAPS xKYii 

BiNTRODUCnON.— THE STUUV OF MYTHOLOGY IN CON- 

B NECriON WITH ENGLISH POETRY xxu-xxxvUl 

CHAPTER I.— THE ORIGIN AND ELEMENTS OF M\TH. i-i8 

L§ I. Parpuftc of the Study i 

I 2- KiDdsofMyth 3 

f 3. Oivitions of Inquiry 5 

f 4. Elements of Myth 5 

I 5, Reaioiuible Myth* 6 

f 6. Unreasonable Myths 8 

f 7. Theory of Deterioration 8 

f 8. Theory of Progress 13 

Extnct from Wordsworth's Excursion, Bk. ir 15 

CHAPTER IL— THE DISTRIBUTION OF MYTHS 19-21 

^L ( 9. Principal Theories . 19 

CHAPTER in. — THE PRESERVATION OF MYTHS 22-36 

} 10. In General 22 

f 1 1. In Greece J Selectioits from Milton and Spenser 22 

f 1 2. Roman Poets of Mythology 28 

{ 13. Records of Norse Mythology 30 

§ 14. Records of German Mythology 33 

{ 15. Records of Oriental Mytholo0 34 

3d 





I 16. Origin of the World. 

§ 17. Origin of the Gods. 

§ 18. The Kulc of Cronus 

§ 19, The War of the Tilans. 

§ 20. The Division of Empire 

§21. The Reign of Jupiter 

§ 22. The Origin of Man. 

§ 23. The Age of Gold 

f ^4- The Silver Age 

§25. PromL'th.us, Champion of Man; Lines by Dyron 

§ 26. Longfelluw's Prumctheus 

S 27. The Brazen Age 

§ 28. The Hood 

§ 29. Deucalion and Pyrrha 

§ ja The Demigods and Heroes 



46 
4« 
4» 
49 

49 



CHAPTER v. — ATTRIBUTES OF THE CODS OF HEAVEN. 51-73 
{ 31. Olympus; Lines from Cowpcr's Translation of the 

Odyssey 51 

{ 3a, The Great Gods 52 

^ S3' Jttpiter (Zeus) 52 

534. Juno (Hera) 54 

§ 35. Minerva (Athene) 56 

f 36. Mars (Arcs) 57 

S 37. Vulcan (Itcpharstas) 58 

§ 38. Phcebus Apollo; Shelley's H>TnD of A pollo 59 

$39. Diana (Artemis); Ben Jonson's Hymn to Diana 63 

§ 40. Venus ( Aphrodite ) ; Extract from SiU's Venus of 

Milo 65 

f 41. Mercury (Hermes) - 68 

§42. Vesta (Hestia) 69 

} 43. Lesser Divinities of Heaven; Gosse's Eros 70 

7« 



Lines by Spenser 




1 




CONTENTS. zUi 

TUOt 

CHAPTER VI.— ATTRIBUTES OF THE GODS OF EARTH. 74-77 

§ 44. Conception of the World 74 

S 45. Ceres (Dcmeter) 75 

(a) Goea, Rbca, Cybelc 76 

$ 46. Bacchus, or Dionysus; Extract fiom Drydcn's Alexander's 

Feast 76 

f 47. The Lesser Divinities of Earth 77 

• 

CHAPTER VII. — ATTRIBUTF^ OF THE GODS OF THF 

UNDERWORLD 78-84 

t$ 48. The Underworld; Uncs from Swinburne's Garden of 

Pruserpiuc and Lang's Fortunate Islands 78 

$ 49. Pluto (Hades) 83 

S 50. Proserpina ( Persephon e) 83 

% 51. The Lesser Divinities of the Underworld %^ 

CHAPTER VIIL— ATTRIBUTES OF THE GODS OF THE 

I WATERS 85-87 

I 52. The Older Dynasty of the Waters 85 

5 53. The Vounger Dynasty , 85 
f 54. Lesser Divinities of the Waters; Wordsworth's "The 

World is too much with us" 86 

CHAPTER IX. — THE ROMAN DIVINITIES 88-90 

If 55. Gods Coaunon to Greece and Italy , 88 

S 561 Italian Gods; IJncs from Macaulay's Prophecy of Capys. . 88 

CHAPTER X. — MnHS OK THE GREAT DIVINITIES OF 

t HEAVEN : 9,_,7, 

$ 57. Mjrtlu of Jupiter and Juno 91 

% 58. Love Affairs of Jupiter 91 

I 59- lo: Extract from Kcnts' " I stood tiptoe upon a little hill ". 9a 

{ 60. Callisto (j^ 

§61, Europa; Extracts from Icing's Translation of Moschus, 

Idyin. 95 

(. Seraele ; Lines from Sill's Semele 98 






§7o- 
§7'- 
§72. 

§73- 
§74- 
§75. 
§76. 

§77- 
§78. 
§79- 
§8a 
§81. 

§82. 
§83. 
§84- 
$85. 
§86. 
§87. 
f 88. 
»89. 
§90. 




PACI 

^Egina 100 

Antiopej lines firom Tennyson's Amphion 102 

Japiter, a friend of man (Uaucis and Philemon); Lines 

from Swifc's Baucis and Philemon 105 

Juno's Best Gift; Lines from Gosse's Sons of Cydippe. . . . 108 
Mjrths of Hinerra : The Contest with Neptune; Arachne; 

Kxtract from Spenfter's Muiopotmos 109 

Myths of Man: Mars and Diomede; Extract from Lang* 

Leaf A Myers' Iliad 1 12 

Mars and Minerva; Extract from Lang, Leaf & Myeis' 

Iliad 113 

Man and Mortals; The Fortunes of Catlmus 114 

Myths of Vulcan 117 

Myths of Apollo : The Wanderiftgs of Latona 1 iS 

Apollo, the Light Triumphant 1 19 

Hyacinthus 120 

Phafton 131 

The Plague sent upon the Greeks before Troy; Extract 

from Lang, Leaf & Myers* Iliad ijj 

The Punishment of Niobc; Lines from tender's Niobc. . . 126 

The Lamentation of Linus 129 

i^vaculapius 130 

Apollo in Exile; I^weU's Shepherd of King Admetus ijo 

Admctus and Alccstis; Extracts from Browning's Balaos- 

tion's Adventure 13J 

Apollo, th e Musici an 1 36 

ApoTIo, Pan, and MiHas; S helley' s By mn of Pan 136 

The Ijfivesof Apollo * 138 

Daphne; Lines from Lovvell's Fable for Critics 1 38 

riytic; Fines hy Thomas Moore X^l 

Myths of Diana 14' 

The Flight of Arethnsa; Shelley's Arethosa 14a 

The Fate of Actaeon X45 

The Fortunes and Deatli of Orion 146 





rAcs 
9r. The Flci&ds 147 

f 92. ti^ndymion; Lines rrom Keats' Eudymion , Bk. Ill 149 

§ 95. MyUia of Venua: Adoni s j Lang's TcansUtion of Bion'a 

Lament 1 50 

$ 94, Cupid and Psyche ; Lines from William Morris^ Earthly 

Paradise, and from T. K. Hervey ; Keats* Ode to Psyche. 152 
I 95. Alalanta's Kacc; Lines from Landor'i Mippomenes and 

Atalanla 162 

§ 96. Hero and Lcandcr; Extracts from Marlowe's Hero and 

Leander; Keats' On a Picture of Lcandcr 164 

»% 97. Pygmalion and the Suiue; Extracts from Lang's New 
I'ygmalion, and from William Morris' Earthly Para- 
disc 167 

$ 98. Pyramus and Thfabc 1 70 

$ 99. Phaon , 171 

■ § toOL The Vengeance of Venus 172 

~ $ 101. Homer's Hymn to Mercury 172 

CHAPTER XL — M\THS OF THE GREAT DIVINITIES OF 

EARTH 174-180 

■ § 102. Mytlis of Bacchus : The Wanderings of Bacchus; Lioes 

■ by Longfellow 174 

I loj. The Story of Acetes; Lines from Gossc's Pmbe of 

B Dionysus. 1 76 

" I 104. The Choice of King Midas 179 

r AFTER XII — FROM THE EARTH TO THE UNDER- 
WORLD 181-188 

f 105. Vytlu of Ceres, Pluto, and Proserpine : The Rape 

of Proserpine i8i 

§ 106. Triplolcmus and the Elcusinian Mysteries; Shelley's 

S ong of Proserpiiie > 84 

i 107. Orpheus and Eurydice ; IJnca from Lander's Orpheus 
and Eurydice, in Dry Sticks, and from Southey's Thal- 
abo. 185 




XVI CO/^TENTS. 

PAG* 

CHAPTER XIU. — MYTHS OF NEPTUNE, RULER OF THE 

WATERS 189-X91 

§ 108. Neptune: Of the Sea 189 

§ 109. Of the Streams and Fouatains 190 

§ 1 10. Pelops and Hippodamia 190 

CHAPTER XIV. — MVTHS OK THE LESSER DIVINITIES 

OF HEAVEN 192-199 

§ 1 1 r . Myths of StArs and Winds 192 

i 112. Cephalus and Procris; Dol»on*s The Death of Procris 192 

§ 1 13. Ccyx and Halcyone 194 

§ 114. Aurora and Tithonus; Lines from Tennyson's Tilbontu . 196 

$115. Meronon; Lines from Darwin's Botanic Garden 199 

CHAPTER XV. — MYTHS OF THE LESSER DIVINITIES 

OF EARTH, AND THE UNDERWORLD 200-214 

jl m6. Pan, and ihe Personification of Nature : Lines from 
Milton's Hymn to the Nativity; and from Mrs. Brow n- 
in g's Dead Pan ; Stedman's Pan in Wall Street 200 

§ 117. Other Lesser Gods of Earth : Satyrs, etc.; Unes from 

Buchanan's Satyr 204 

§ 1 1 S. Echo and Narcissus 206 

§ [19. Echo, Pan, Lydc, and the Satyr; Ijtng's Translation of 

Mosch us. Idyl VI 207 

$120. The Naiads; Lines from Buchanan's Natad ^.... 207 

( 121. The Dryads, or Hamadryads 2oK 

§ 122. Dryupc 210 

§123. Rhcecus; Extracts from Lowell's Rhocc us 210 

S 124. PomonaandVertumnus; Lines from Thomson's Seasons. 212 

§ 125. The Underworld : The Cranes of Ibycus 213 

CHAPTER XVI. — M\THS OF THE LESSER DIVLMTIES 

OF THE WATERS ^ 215-322 

§ 126. Dwellers in the Sea: Galatea and Polyphemus; Lang's 

Theocritus. Idvl VI 215 






CiiAPTER XVII— MYTHS OF THE OLDER HEROES 

§ 132. The Older and the Younger Heroes, 

$ 133. The Genealogy of Danaas: The DanaTds. 

J 134. The Doom uf King Acrisius 

I 135. Peneus and Nfedusa; Extracts from William Morris' 
Earthly Paradise; Shelley's Medusa 

§ 136. Perseus and v\tlas 

} 137. Perseus and Andromeda; Lines Troro Milton's 11 Pen- 
seroaa and Comus, Kingsley's Andromeda, and Mil- 
man's Samor 

{ 138. BcUerophon and the Chima:ra 

139. Hercules: Youth and Labors , 

140. His Later Exploits 

$141. The Loss of Hylas; Lang's Theocritus. Idyl XIII 

$ 142. The Expedition against Laomedon 

$ 143. The Death of Hercules; Lines from Milton and from 

S. G. BulBnch's Schiller's Ideal and Life 



335 

327 



338 

239 

240 



IHAPTER XVHL— THE FAMILY OF i€OLUS 244-349 

$ 144. The DescendanU of Deucalion 244 

145. The Quest of the Golden Recce; Lines from Dyer's 

Hceoe 244 

146. Medea and Mv>n 347 

147. Pclias; Lines from Shakespeare'* Macbeth 248 

[APTER XIX.— THE KAMILY OF ,tTOLUS 250-254 

{ 148. The Gilydonian Hunt; Extracts from Swinburne's Ata- 

lanta in Calydon 250 





CHAPTER XX.— THE HOUSE OF MINOS. 

§ 149. Minos of Crete 

§ 150. Daedalus and Icarus; Lines by Darwin, 



CHAPTER XX [. — THE DESCENDANTS OF CECROPS AND 

ERICHTHONIUS 

151. Cecrops and ErichthoDius ; Matthew Arnold's Philo- 
mela 

§ 152. Theseus 

§ 153. Theseus and Ariadne; Hexameter translation of the 

Pclcus and Thetis of Calullas by C. M. Gayley 

Bacchus and Ariadne; Hexameter translation of the 

Peieus and Thetis [coutituuif ) 

§ 155. The Amarons 

§ 156. Theacos and Pirithous 

§ 157. Phsedra and Hippolytus 

CHAPTER XXTI.— THE HOUSE OF LABDACUS 

§ 158. The Misfortunes of Thebes 

§ 159. <^lipus and the Sphinx 

§ 160. CEdipus, the King; Lines from Plumptte's Sophocles' 

CEd. King 

§ 161. <Kdipus at Colonus; Lines from PIamptre*s Sophocles' 

(Ed. Colon 

CHAFrKR XXHL — M\THS OF THE YOUNGER HEROES 

% i6z. Their Exploits 

§ 163. The Seven against Thebes 

§ 1C4. Antigone; Lines from PlumpUe's Sophocles* Antigone. 
{a) The Epigoni ■ ■ ■ 

CHAPTER XXIV. — HOUSES CONCERNED IN THE TRO- 
JAN WAR 

§ 165. Three Houses Concerned 

(d) Peleus; Hexameter translation nf the Peleus and 
Thetis of Catullus by C. M. Gayley 



25&-26S 

258 

259 

260 

265 
267 
167 
268 

369-272 
269 
269 



27i^l 



273-276, 

27J 




CONTENTS, XXX 

PACM. 

(*) Atreus 281 

(r) Tyndareus 2S1 

$ 166. Castor and Potlux; Unes from MacaaUy's Battle of 

IjlVc Regilliu 281 

CHAPTER XXV.— THE TROJAN WAR 284-302 

§ 167. Its Origin; Iphigciua in Aulis; Proteailaus and l^oda- 
mia; Extracts from Tennyson's Dream of Fair Women, 

anrl from Wordsworth's Ijtodamia 284, 285 

J 168. Homer's Iliad; Lines from Cowpcr's and Pope's Trans* 

lations of the Iliad 290 

HAPTER XXVI — THE KALI. OF TROY '..... 30J-312 

$ 169. The Fall of Troy 303 

% 170. The Survivors; Lines from Dyer^a Fleece, and Milton's 

Comas joS 

^CHAPTER XXVIL— THE WANDERINGS OK ULYSSES... 313-337 
\ 171. From Troy to Phccacia; Lines from Tennyson's Lulus 
Eaters, Dohaon's Prayer of the Swine to Qrcc, and 

Cowper's Odyssey 313 

f 172. The Land of the Phtracians; ling's Song of Pha:acia. 323 

% 1 73- Fate of the Suitors of Penelope; Extracts from Cowper's 

Odyssey; Tennyson's Ulysses 330 

[AFTER XXVin. — ADVENTURES OF iENEAS 338-353 

f 174. Fnmi Troy to Italy 338 

$ 1 75. The Infernal Regions 345 

ICHAPTER XXIX.— THE WAR BETWEEN TROJANS AND 

I-ATINS 354-365 

§ 176. The Prophecy FulfiUed 354 

CHAPTER XXX. — MYTHS OF THE NORSE GODS 36^391 

I 177. The Creation 366 

$ 178. Odia and Ma ValhalU 367 

f 179. The Other Gods , 369 




^ 




CONTENTS. 



VACS 

§ 180. The Deeds of Thor 371 

§ tSi. The Sword of Freyr 379 

§182. The Death of Balder; KxtracU from Matthew Arnold's 

Balder Dead 380 

183. The Elves 387 

§ 184. Ragnarok, the Twilight of the Gods; Extracts from 

Arnold's Balder Dead 388 

CHAPTER XXXI. — MYTHS OF NORSE AND OLD GER- 
MAN HEROES 392-403 

% 1S5. The Saga of the Tolaangs; Extracts from William 

Morris' Sigurd Ihe Volsung 393 

% 186. The Lay of the Nibelungs; Extracts from Lettsom's & 

Carlyle's Translations 400 

COMMENTARY: Textual, Interpretative, Illustrative 406-^91 



PRINCIPAL GENEALOGICAL TABLES IN COMMENTARY. 
[StetioHi corrtt^mdiHg to tkosf ^tk* Uxi,\ 

A. The Great Gods of Olympos, § 31 414 

B. The Family of Night, § 51 43J 

C. The Divinities of the Sea, §5 52-54 433 

D. The Race of Inacbas, and its Branches, § 59 435 

E. The Descendants of Agenor, § 61 436 

F. The Dynasty of Tantalus and its Connections, § 77 444 

G- The Connections uf Atalanta Ibe Boeotian, § 95 45 3 

H. The Ancient Race of Luminaries and Winds, § 113 461 

I. The Race of lapetus, Deucalion, Hellea, and Atlaa, 

5 U2 (5) 465-466 

J. The House of Danatts, § 133 468 

K. The Descendants of ^Ctolus, % 148 475 

L. The Descendants of Minos 1 475 

M . The Descendants of Erichthonius 476 

N. The Royal Family of Thebes 479 






^ 




LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.' 



nC. fAGM. 

1. Jupiter surveying the World, [Wall painting: H.and P.{^Hfrcu- 

tantum and Fomfiei) hy //. Reux Ain€.'\ 37 

3. Minerva contending with a Giant. [Bronze: Mus. Kircherianum. 

Journal of HellenU Studies^ 4 : 90; Roscher 10 : 1666.J 4! 

3. Jupiter destroying the Giants. [Gem : BaumeisterJ] 43 

4. Two of the Hours. [Vase : Comptt Rendu de St. Pitersbourg, 1862, 
Table 4; Roicher 16 and 17 : 2727.] 51 

5. Jupiter Enthroned* [Wall painting: H. and PS\ 54 

6. Bust of Juno. [ViUa Ludovisi, Rome : Ovtrbetk, AtUu 9 : 8; Ros- 

eker 13 : 2123.J 55 

7. Miner%-a (Pallas). [Ancient MS. of Homer : Inghiramu] 56 

8. Minerva (Athene of Vellctri). [Statue from VcUetri, in the Louvre : 

Rcscker 4 : 702. ] 56 

9. Mara (Ares Ludovisi). [Marble statue in the Villa Ludovisi, RotQC: 

Rosckfr 3 :49<-] 57 

10. Vulcan. [Bronze statuette of Hepluestus, Berlin: flirty BHderhuch 

6:2; Rather 12 : 2044.] 59 

* Allen and Grcenougb, from whose Ovid and Vergil illustrations not assigned 
10 Roscher have been taken, give the following list of Authorities: ArchSologische 
Zeilung, Berlin ; Baumcisler, Denktn^Ller des Klas&ichcn Alterlhums, Munich; De 
Clarac, Musfcde Sculpture; Guhl & Koner. Das Leben d. Griechen und R6raer ; 
Hirt, A., Bilderbuch filr Myihol<^e. Archaologie. und Kunsf, Berlin, 1805 : H. Roux 
Ain*, Herculaneumet Pompci. Paris: 1840: Inghitaml. GaleriaOmerica; Bolletioo 
deir Instuiito di Corrispondenza Archcologica. Rome; Millin. A. L.. Mythologische 
Gallerie. Berlin, 1848: Mullcr. C. O.. Denkmfller der Alien Kunsi, GOitingcn. 183a: 
Overbeck. J.. Griechischc Kunst-Mythologic, Leipzig: 1873-78; Pietro Sani<* 
Banoh, Gli Antichi Sepolch. Rome: 1727: Roicher, W. H. Ausfiihrliches Lexicon 
der griechischen und rOmischen Mjrthologie, Leipzig : X8&4-. 
XX ii 







»5- 
1 6. 

«7- 
18. 

19- 

20. 
21. 

23. 

z6. 

27- 

28. 

29. 
30. 

V- 



UST OF ILLUSTRATIONS, tiM, 

rAcs 
ApoUo of the Belvedere. [Supplemented by the X^%\ Roschtr 

3:43«] 60 

Apollo. [In the Miueuirt of Basle : RoKker 3 : 465.] 63 

Diana (Artemis of Versailles). [Marble statue in louvre : Roscker 

4: 603.] 63 

Diana (Artemia Knagia). [Silver medallion from Hercnlaneum: 

Wtlcker, Alie DeukmaUr^ 2 : 3. 5 ; RostKtr 4 : 566.] 65 

Venus of Mclos, [Louvre, Paris : Rouher 3 : 403.] 67 

Mercury (licrmes, with petasus, caduceus, and winged feet). [Wall 

painting : Baumeister,^ 68 

Mercury conducting Souk to Pluto and Proserpine. [//i>/.] 69 

Cupid. [Statue : MUiUr.] 70 

The Ganymede of Lcocharcs- [Bronze group : Overhteky Gr. Ptas' 

iiM 2^ Fig. 107; Roichtr g : 1597.1 71 

Boreas. [Relief: Mimn.'\ 72 

Iris carrying a Child. [Vase picture : Rosihtr 20 : 351.] 73 

Ceres. [Wall painting : //. and A] 75 

Bacchus (Dionysus and Ampclos. the vint"). [Group in British 

M useum : Rostker 2 : 29a.] 76 

Youthful Satyrs, gathering grapes over a Crater. [Relief: MilUn^ 77 
A Roman Sat)?, with grafting materials. [Ancient gem: Pinis 

y^gii'^ 77 

Mercury conducting a Soul to Charon. [Terra-cotta relief: ArA, 

ZtH.\ 78 

A Fury. [From a vase picture. The Erinys in garb of a huntress 

pursues Orcslcs : Ros<her 8 : 1 334. ] 81 

Pluto (Hades enthroned; Cerberus). [Statue in Villa Borghese: 

BammehUr Dfnkm., 620; Roicktr 1 1 : 1803.] 82 

Ncretd on a sea-monster. [Wall painting : i\fUJUr.'\ 85 

Neptune in his car. [Coin : Mirt. ] 86 

Sirens. [Engraved relief: Mitiktiiungen H, k, dfuti<h, arcABoL 

ImtitutJ, Alhfns.'\ , 87 

Bemrded Janos. [Roman coin: Baumttster g6^i /ViMr/- t8: 50.] 89 

Ganymede feeding the eagle. [Relief: Sf^/fri."] 91 




LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS. 

fAOK 

Meicory kills Argus in presence of Japiler. [Vue picture : Roscktr 

"9 •• 279] 9a 

Eoropa on the Bull. [Vase picture : BaumeisUr*1 94, 

Amphiun with the lyre, and Zethus. [ Relief in the Palaxzo Spada : 

Roscker 2 : 311.] 103 

Minerva's contest with Neptuae. [Vase picture: Baumeiiter.'\. . 109 

Minerva. [Statue: AfUiigr,] 112 

Mars and Venus. [Wall painting : II. ami P.^ 114 

Cadmus slaying the Dragon. [Vase picture : MWin,'\ 116 

Apollo, and Hyacintbus with quoit. [Marble group, Hope Collec- 
tion. Rouhtr 16, 17 : 2765.] 120 

42. Apollo. [Wall painting : //. ami /*.] 126 

43. Niobe. [SUtue : MUUer,'\ 128. 

44. i^£sculapius. [Statue : MUUer,'\ 130 

45. ApuUu playing the lyre (Citbarardus}. [Statue in the Vatican: 

Roschtr 3 : 463.] 137 

46. Grinins drawing car with symbols of Apollo. [Relief: Hirt,'\ .... 141 

47. Head of Arethusa. [Coin : Baumeister.'] 14a 

48. Young River-god. [Bronze head: BaumeisUr ; Roscher ^ : I489.] I43 

49. Acliron lorn by his hounds. [Relief: Baumcister.'\ 146 

50. Endyraion. [Relief in the Capitolinc Museum, Rome: Rcuktr 

7 : 1246.] 14S 

51. Celestial Venus. [Wall painting : //. and /*.] 151 

52. Diana. [Wall painting ; //. and /'.J 162 

53. Genius with torch. [Wall painting : H. and /*.] 166 

54. Bacchus and Silenus. [Wall painting ; //. ami A] 1 74 

55. Bacchic dance of Satyrs and Bacchantes. [Vase picture: Inst. 

Arch.'] 175 

56. A Bacchante in frcniy. [Marble vase : WaeUken,^ 1 77 

57. Bacchic procession. [Vase picture : Arch. Zeit.'\ 1 78 

58. Sjlenus. [Bronrc lamp: //. tf«///'.] 179 

59. The Rape of Proserpina. [Relief: Baumeister.'^ t8i 

60. The Return of Proserpina. [Vase picture : Baumnster,'] 183 

61. The Departure of Triptolemus. [Vase picture: Baumeisttr.'] 184 





^ 



UST OF JLLUSTRATJONS, 

. Hfinen. [Wall painting: ^tfK-^^r 16. 17 : 2802.] 185 

63- Tantalos, Ixion, and SUyphus. [Relief: Sepoicri,'\ t86 

64. Mercury, Kurydice, and Orpheus. [Relief in the Villa Albani: 
Roukgrx^ : 2407.] ••^••- 187 

65. Neptttnewilh tridenl. [Relief: J/tf//fr.] 189 

»66. Phosphor, Eos (Aurora), and the Sun rising from ocean. [Vase 

picture : Gerhard^ Akadem. AbkandL'\ 192 

67. The God of Sleep. [Relief: Baumnsfer.'\ 195 

68. Dancing Satyr. [Pine's Vergil.] 202 

69. Young Satyr. [Wall painting: N.andP.'] 205 

7(\7l. Rustic* with haskels, [Ant. d'Hercul. : Thompson's Horace.] 312,213 
73U Galatea and Polyphemus. [Wall painting. Palatine: Rotcher 

^ 9:1587] ai6 

7J. Glancus and Scylla. [Wall-painting: Rouhtr 10 : 1684.] 217 

74. Scylla. [Wall painting: H. and PA 3l8 

H 75. Sca-monsten. [Wall painting: //. 0W/*.] tZ% 

76. The Danaids. [Relief on an altar in the Vatican: ^mM/t 6 : 951.] 224 

77. Medusa. [Relief: A/ti^tr.} 226 

^t 78* PerMUS with the Gorgon's head. [Vase piclorc: Gtrhardy Hera- 

kl(t dfr Safyr und DreifHSsrHuher.^ 227 

79. Perseus and Andromeda. [Relief in Capitoline Museum: Roscker 
a : 346.] 230 

80. Betlerophon and Pegasus. [Relief: Rcscher 5 : 762.] 3J2 

Si. Battle with the Amazons before Troy. [Relief on sarcophagus: 

Rouker » : 279.] , 236 

82. Atlas bearing the world. [Statue : MiUUr.'] 237 

83. Hercules and Cerberus. [Vase picture : ,\fiilier.'\ 238 

a4. pygmies fighting with Cranes. [Gem: 0. J^oAn's Artkaoi Set- 

^^■1 238 

85. The Apotheosis of Hercules. [Vase picture : Baumeister,'] 243 

86. Jaaoo conquering the Bulls and seizing the Golden Fleece. [Re* 
lief on sarcophagus : Rosiker 18 : 80.] 246 

87. The Calydonian Hunt. [Relief: Baumtis/er.'] 25I 

88. Oaedalus and Icarus. [Relief in Villa Albani, Rome: RosdUr 
6 '934] 256 



i 




na. 

89. 

yo. 
91. 
92. 
93- 

94- 

95- 

96. 

97- 

98. 

99- 



101. 
102. 

103. 
104. 

105. 
106. 
107. 
108. 

109. 

no. 



Tbcseua and the Minotaur. [Wall painting: II, and P^ 261 

The Sleeping Ariadne. [Vatican : Hoicher 4 ; 545.] 263 

Head of Bacchus. [In Lcydcn : Roscker 7 : 1 128.] 265 

Bacchus rinding Ariadne. [Wall painting : MUUir,^ . 266 

Venus bringing together Paris and Helen. [Relief in Naples: 

Roscher 1 2 : 1938. J 284 

Acbilies taken from Scyroa by Ulysses and Diomedes. [Pompeian 

wall painting : Roicher 1 : 27. J 386 

The Surrender of Briseis. [Pomp, wall painting: AVfM^r 5 : 830.] 391 

Hector Hghling before the Ships, [tjetn: Rosdur 12 : 1921.]. . . 29a 

Ransom of Hector** body. [ Relief: De ClaracJ] J°f_TH 

Ajsjt with Achilles^ body. [Rascktr 1 : 136.] ^^| 

Head of Paris. [Bust: AfUmk^Htr Antiktnvon C. F. A.von Liit- ^H 

1*10.] 305^" 

Entry of the Wooden Horse; Women suppltcaling Pallas; Cas- 

Sandra raving. [Walt painting : //. and y.] jo6 

Orestes pursued by the Furies. [Vase picture: Ros(ktr%i I33l0- J'* 
Orestes taking refuge at Delphi: Fury, Apollo, Orestes, Tripod, 

Pallas. [Vase picture: Mitl\n.'\ jii 

Sirens and Ulysses. [Gem : Miilin.'] 3*'' «_ib 

Head of Minerva. (Copy of Pallas of the Parthenon.) [Statue: H| 

//ir/.J 326 

Ptfnelope at the loom. [Vase picture : Baumtis/er,'] 331 

Ulysses and Euryclea, [Relief: Roscher 9 : 1423.] 334 

v^eas, Anchises, and lulus. [Gem : Mus. Flor.] 3jfl^| 

Scylla. [Carved end of ublc : Ckefi d (Ewvrei de V Art Antique, ^| 

Paris. 1S67.] 34™ 

Charon receiving a passenger and his fare. [Relief: Sepolcri.'\. . w^ 

Amazon. [Guhl & Koner.] 356^ 





LIST OF MAPS. 

FAOB 

I. GiucECz AND THE Greek Colonies 37 

*, Greece in the Fifth Centvry 91 

3. Greece below THeKMorvL.e 223 

4. Orbis Teerarum kx Sententia HoMEtti 377 

5. Troas et Hellespostus 377 

6. Glaoctone's Map op the Outer G&OGRArKv of the Odyssev. . 313 

7. Italv uefore the Gkovvtii uf Roue 338 

xxvii 



J 



LIST OF FULL-PAGE ENGRAVINGS. 



Mars (Tuesday). /iaf<hxul 58 

2. AroLLO Belvedere (in the Vatican) 60 

3. Diana. Correggio 63 

4- Venus of Melos (in tlie Louvre) 66 

5. Thk Flying Mercury. Giev. di Bvi&snn 68 

6. The Fates. Afickael Attgelo 7a 

7. The Force of Vulcan. Vtlasquet 1 18 

8. The Pleiades, Vedder 147 

9. Atalanta's Race. PoynUr 163 

10. Ori'heus ano Eurydice. Sir Frtdtrick Ltighton 1S5 

1 1. Aurora. Guido Kent 192 

12. Faun. Praxiteles 204 

13. Perseus. Cellini 226 

14. Gioipus ani» Antigone, Teschendorff 370 

15. Hector's Farewell to Anuromache and Astyanax .... 398 

16. Laocoon (in Ihe Vatican) 307 

juviii 





INTRODUCTION. 



THE STUDY OF MYTHOLOGY 11* CONNECTION WITH ENGLISH 

POETRY. 

Our American educational methods too frequently seek to pro- 
duce the effect of poiish upon a kind of sandstone information 
that will not stand polishing. With such fatuity many of our 
teachers in the secondary schools exercise their pupils in the 
study of English masterpieces and in the critical estimate of aes- 
thetic qualities before acquainting them with the coramouplace 
facts and fables that, transmitted through generations, arc the 
material of much of our poetry because the material of daily con- 
verse, imagination, and thought. These commonplaces of tradi- 
tion are to be found largely in the literature of mythology. Of 
course the evil would be neither so widespread nor so dangerous 
if more of the guardians and instructors of our youth were 
at home even among the Greek and Latin clasncs. But for 
various reasons, — some valid, as, for instance, the importance of 
increased attention to the modern languages and the natural 
sciences; others worthless, as the so-called utilitarian protest, 
against the cultivation of " dead " languages, — for various reasons 
the study of the Classics is at present considerably impaired. It 
is, therefore, incumbent upon our imiversities and schools, recog- 
nizing this fact and deploring it, to abate, so far as possible, 
the unfortunate consequences that proceed therefrom, until, by 
a readjustment of subjects of instruction and of the periods 
allotted them, the Greek and Latin classics shall be reinstated in 
their proper place as a means of discipline, a humanizinjr influ- 
ence, the historic background against which our present appears. 
[.For, cm off from the intellectual and imaginative sources of 

xxix 





XXX 



INTRODUCTIOl^. 



Greece and Rome, the state and statesmanship, legislation and 
law, society and manners, philosophy^ religion, literature, art, and 
even artistic appreciation, run readily shallow and soon dry. 

Now, one e\Hdent means of tempering the consequence of this 
neglect of the Classics is the study of them through translations 
and summaries. Such second-hand study must, indeed, be ever 
a makeshift ; for the literature of a people inheres in its language, 
and loses its seeming and often its characteristic when caparisoned 
in the trappings of another speech, — an utterance totally dis- 
similar, — the outcome of diverse conditions of physical environ- 
ment, history, social and intellectual tradition. But in dealing with 
the purely imaginative products of antiquity, the difficulty of the 
translation may be moderated if those products be reproduced, so 
far as possible, not in the prosaic but in the poetic atmosphere, 
and in the imaginative garb of modem art. For though the 
phenomena of plastic art arc not the same in one continent as in 
another, or from one century to the next, and though the fashion 
of poetry itself varies from age to age and from clime to clime, 
the genesis of imagination is universal, its products are akin, 
and its process is continuous. For this reason the study of the 
imaginative thought of the ancients through the artistic creations 
of the moderns is commended to students and readers as feasible 
and profitable. 

The benefits to be derived from such a study of the Classic 
Myths are general and specific. 

1. In general, and in the first place, classic mythology has been 
for poetry a treasure-house replete with golden talcs and glimmer- 
ing thoughts, passions in the rough and smooth, and fancies rich 
bejewelled. Like Vergil's Shadows that flit by the Lethean 
stream until at beck of Fate they revisit upper day and the ever- 
tranquil stars, these ghosts of '* far-off things and battles long 
ago," peopling the murmurous glades of myth, await the poet 
who shall bestow on each his new and predetermined form, and 
restore them, purified and breaching of Elysian air, to the world 
of life and art and ever-young mankind. 






I 
I 



INTRODUCTION. 

For the reader the study of mythology does, in this respect, as 
much as for the poet. It assists him to thrid the labyrinth of art : 
not merely with the clue of tradition, but with a thread of surer 
knowledge whose surest strand is sympathy. The study has 
led men soberly to trace the progress of their kind from the 
twilight of gray conjecture to the dawn of spiritual conviction 
;ind rational individuality; to discern an onward continuity of 
thought, an outward reach of imagination, an upward lift of 
moral and religious ideas ; to confess the brotherhood of human- 
ity and the fatherhood of One whose purposes hold good for 
every race, and through all time. And, so, the knowledge of mythic 
lore has led men broadly to appreciate the motives and condi- 
tions of ancient art and literature, and the uniform and ordered 
evolution of the aesthetic sense. 

Beside enriching us with heirlooms of fiction, and pointing us 
to the sources of imaginative joy from which the forefathers of 
Hellenic verse, or Norse, or English, drank, the classic myths 
(|uicken our imaginative and emotional faculties in no inap- 
preciable degree. How many a man held by the sorrows of 
the Labdacidae or the love of Alcestis, by some curious won- 
der in Pausanias, or some woe in Hyginus, has waked to the 
consciousness of artistic fancy and creative force within him- 
self I How many, indifferent to the well-known roimd, the 
trivial task, the nearest care of home, have read the Farewell to 
Andromache and lived a new sympathy, an unselfish thrill, a 
purified delight I And not only as an impulse toward artistic 
output, or patriotic devotion, or domestic altruism, but as a 
restraining influence, a chastener of aesthetic excess, a moderator 
of the ' unchartered freedom * that knows no mean between 
idolatry and loathing, of the foolish frenzy that affects new things, 
abnormal and sensational, in literature, music, and the plastic 
arts, — as such a tutor and governor is the study of beautiful 
myths invaluable. I/>ng familiarity with the sweet simplicity, the 
orderly restraint, the severe regard, the filial awe that pervade the 
myths of Greece and Rome, — or with the newness of life and 






fulness and wonder of it, the naivei^ and the romance, of Eddie 
lore, — cannot but graciously temper our modern estimate of 
artistic worth. 

Furthermore, it must be borne in mind that the myths of the 
aocients, as the earliest literary crystallization of social order and 
religious fear, record the incipient history of religious ideals and 
of moral conduct. For though ethnologists may insist that to 
search for truth in mythology is vain, the best of them will gram 
that to search fur truth through mythology is wise and profitable. 
If we accept the statement (often sireiched beyond its proper 
limit) that mythology is primitive philosophy, and the other state- 
ment that an ancient philosophy never dies, but by process of 
internal growth, of modification, and of accretion acquires a 
purer spirit and a new and higher form, — then, since truth was 
never yet conceived of error {ex nihilo nihil fit) ^ the truth now 
recognized, while it did not exist in that fraction of myth which 
happens to be irrational, existed as an archetypal impulse : set the 
myth in motion ; and, as a process refining the mind of man, 
tended steadily to eliminate from primitive philosophy — that is, 
from the myths that embodied primitive philosophy — the savage, 
ephemeral, and irrational clement. For all myths spring from 
the universal and inalienable desire to know, to enjoy, to teach. 
These impulses of knowledge, of imaginative relaxation, of con- 
duct, are the throbbing of the heart of reason; the first or the 
second is the primal pulse of every myth ; and to the life of every 
myth each impulse may be, at some period, contributory. 

Let us, by way of example, consider the stages of mythologic 
philosophy described by Professor J, VV. Powell in his First Annual 
Report of the Bureau of Ethnology.' We do not find the truth free 
from dross in what he calls the lowest stage, htcastoiheism^ where 
everything is endowed "with life : with personality, will, and design 
. . . where everything discovered by the senses is looked upon 

1 Report of the Director of the Bureau to the Secretar>' of the Smithsonian 
Institution, Washington, D.C., 1879-S0, pp. 29-33. 1 have, merely for the 
sake of condensation, occasionally adapted a sentence. 





JNTHODUCJ'IOU. 



XXXlll 



subjectively by the philosopher, and endowe*! with all the attnbutes 
supposed to be inherent in himself ; where everything is a god." 
N'or do we discover the truth unalloyed in z<>otheistfi, in which 
** men no longer attribute life indiscriminately to inanimate things ; 
where the same powers and attributes recognized by subjective 
vision in man are attributed to the animals by which he is sur- 
rounded ; . ■ . where man worships beasts, and the phenomena 
of nature are the doings of animal gods/' Nor do wc hold trjth 
undebased in the third stage, /^jj/Mm/n / where "animal gods 
are dethroned ; the powers and phenomena of nature are personi- 
5ed and deified, and the gods are strictly anthropomorphic, hav- 
mg the form as well as the mental, moral, and social attributes of 
In these deities of the sun, the moon, and the dawn, we 
do not yet know the pure, the genuine truth. Nor do we recog- 
nize it \ti psycho thnsm, a still higher plane of mythologic philoso- 
phy, where " mental, moral, and social characteristics are personified 
and deified," . . . and gods of war, of love, of revelry, of wisdom, 
and of youth, "preside over the institutions and occupations of 
mankind." In none of these presumptive stages of mythologic 
philosophy do we discover the truth without admixture ; no later 
stage is without trace of earlier creed ; but in every stage a power 
is manifest making for righteousness, a love yearning for sympathy 
divine, a moral sense striving through humanized nature and 
spiritualized man, through pantheism and monotheism to the Spirit 
in whom we live and move and have our being, — who lives and 
moves through all. 

2. The benefits accruing from the consideration of mythology, 
and particularly of the classic myths, are not only general, but 
specific. For, the study, when illustrated by masterpieces of litera- 
ture and art, should lead to the appreciation of concrete artistic 
productions of both these kinds. 

It goes without saying that a rational series of somewhnt 
consecutive stories is more serviceable to the reader than a 
congeries of data acquired by spasmodic consultation of the Clas- 
sical Dictionary, - a mass of information bolted, as it were, but 





XXXIV 



INTRODUCTION. 



by no means digested. When, however, these stories are treated 
in genealogical and realistic sequence and arc illustrated by lync, 
narrative, and descriptive passages of modern literature, there is 
furnished not only that material of allusion and reference for 
which the student nowadays trusts to meagre and disjointed text- 
book notes, but a potentiality that should render the general 
reading of bdies Uttns more profitable. For, a previous ac- 
quaintance with the material uf hicrary tradition heightens the 
appreciation of each allusive passage as it is encountered ; it 
enables the reader to sympathize with the mood and to enter 
into the purpose of the poet, the essayist, the novelist, the orator ; 
it expands the intellectual lungs for the atmosphere breathed by 
the artist, at any rate for a literary and social atmosphere less 
asthmatic than that to which so many of us are unconsciously 
habituated. Of course, all this advantage would far better result 
from the (irst-hand nutriment and discipline of the Greek and 
Latin classics ; of course, direct familiarity with the writers of 
Greece and Rome is the sine qua non of level-headed criticism 
and broad cvaluadon of modem literature ; and, of course, a 
sympathy with the imaginings of old is the best incentive to an 
£esthetic estimate not only of art, but of nature to-day ; but if our 
American pupils and many of their teachers cannot quaff Massic 
and Falemian, they do well to scent the bouquet. In rime, a 
sense of flavor may, perchance, be stimulated, and, ultimately, 
a desire for nearer acquaintance with the literatures that we 
inherit. 

In respect of the plastic arts, a similar indirect instruction may 
well be conveyed. A modest collection of photographs of the 
paintings and sculptures that have best represented mythical sul> 
jects, would, if used in the school and at home in connection with 
the study of classic myths, avail much toward lifting our American 
public from the dead level of apathy and provinciality in matters 
of imagination. A ray of artistic culture, even though refracted 
through the medium of photography, might, at least, illumi- 
nate guides that now make hard for ditches, might clarify the 





ideals of caDow youth, and orient the " chorus of indolent re- 
riewers. ** 

For, a second specific advantage to be derived from this study 
is that it quickens the aesthetic judgment, and heightens the 
enjoyment of such works of literature and art as not treating of 
mythical or classical subjects stiil possess the characteristics of 
the classic : the unconscious simplicity, the inevitable charm, and 
the noble ideality. The Lycidas, the Adonais, the Thyrsis, the 
In Memoriam, the Ode to Duty, the Hothie of Tober-na-Vuolich, 
the Hymn of Man, Love is Enough, Prospice, Festus, the Ode of 
^ Life, the Dream of Gcrontius, Lying in the Griss, and Simmenthal 
Bmust mean little to one devoid of the spirit of classicism. 

3, A few hints to teachers of the Classic Myths in their rela- 

■ lion to English Literature may, perhaps, be acceptable. 
From the outset care should be taken that pupils give to the 
classical names their proper accent, and that they anglicize both 

trowels and consonants according to the recognized rules laid 
down in tlie Latin grammars, and the English dictionaries. 
Mythological and classical geography must also be carefully 
studied. The maps accompanying this volume will be serviceable ; 
but there should be in the class-room one of Kiepcrt's maps of 
the World as Known to the Ancients (Orbis Vcteribjs Notus). or 
maps of Ancient Italy, Greece, and Asia Minor. The teacher 
will find The International Atlas (G. P. Putnam's Sons, N.Y.), 
A. Keith Johnston's School and College Atlas of Ancient Geogra- 
phy, or the new edition of the same by James Cranstoun issued 
as Ginn and Company's Classical Atlas, indispensable in the prose- 
cution of general reading. 

Most of the myths will naturally be studied out of class and 
recited in class. Some of the longer ones, however, such as the 
Wanderings of Ulysses, or the Adventures of .-Eneas, might in the 
latter part of the course be read aloud in class for some fifteen 
minutes every day, in order that interest in the n.irrative as a 
whole may be maintained while careful and continual review is 
had of the numerous allusions and references to earlier myths 



J 




XXXVl 



mTRQDUCTTQN. 



that each of the longer narratives contains. Throughout the 
course, all stories and all minutiie should be kept fresh in the 
mind of the pupi!, whether by oral renews, informal and fre- 
quent questioning, or by compositions and written examinations. 
The knowledge of the myths and the proper perspective of 
their relation, one lo another, should be fixed by the study of the 
family ties that motivate many of the incidents of mythical advent- 
ure, and that must have been commonplaces of information to the 
inventors and narrators of these stories. 

The myths may well be reproduced as exercises in narration, 
comparison, description ; and they may be regarded as stimulus 
for imaginative invention concerning local wonders and beauties 
of nature. Pupils may also he encouraged to consider, and to 
comment upon, the moral qualities of the heroes and heroines of 
mythology. Thus they may be led to recognize the difference be- 
tween ancient and modem standards of right and wrong. To this 
end, and for the supply of further nutriment, it is important that 
teachers collect from their reading of the classic originals, or from 
translations of the Iliad, the Odyssey, the Greek dramatists, the 
i€neid, the Metamorphoses, etc., material supplementary to the 
text, and give it freely to their classes. To facilitate this practice, 
the sources of the myths have been indicated in the footnotes 
of this volume, and a few of the best translations have been men- 
tioned in §§ IO-I2 of the Commentary. Instructors should also 
read to the classes illustrative English poems, or portions of them 
based upon the myths under consideration ; and they should 
encourage the pupils to collect from their English reading addi- 
tional examples of the literary survival or adaptation of ancient 
fable. For this purpose special sections of the Commentary have 
been prepared indicating some of the best-known literary appli- 
cations of each myth. 

The myths should provide not only nutriment for thought, but 
material for memory. Our youth in the push for scientific facts 
and methods, so-called discipline, and hterary acquisition, masti- 
cate little, swallow everything, digest nothing, — and having agon- 





WTRODUCTION. 



xxxvii 



I 
I 



I 



, forget. If fewer things were despatched, especially in the 
study of literature, and if more were entrusted to the memory, 
there would be something to assimilate, and time to assimilate it ; 
there would be less dyspepsia and more muscle. Teachers and 
parents are over-considerate, nowadays, of the memory in chil- 
dren : they approach it gingerly; they have feared so much to 
wring its withers that in most children the memory has grown too 
soft for saddling. In our apprehension lest pupils may tiim out 
panx)ls, we have too often turned them out loons. It is belter 
that a few of the facts in their heads be wrong, than that no facts 
be there ai all. With all our study of children and our gabble 
about methods of teaching them, while we insist, properly enough, 
that youth is the seed-time of observation, we seem to have for- 
gotten that it is also the harvest-time of memory. It is easy for 
children to remember what they learn, it is a delight for them to 
conimit to memory ; we act criminally when we send them forth 
with hardly a fact, or a dale, or a glorious verse in the memory 
of one out of ten of them. Such unfortunately is the case in 
many of our schools ; and such was not the case in the day of 
our fathers. Pupils should be encouraged to recite memoriter the 
best poems and verses that accompany the myths here given; 
and they should not be allowed to pass allusions akeady explained 
without recalling verses that contain them. 

But, above all things, should be cultivated, by means of this 
study, the spiritual capabilities of our youth. Pabulum for thought, 
accurate habits of memory, critical judgment, simplicitj" and 
directness of oral and written expression may all be furnished or 
fleveloped by other educative agencies ; but what stimulus to 
fincy, to poetic sensitiveness and reflection, to a near kinship with 
ihe spirit of nature humanized can be found more cogent than 
the contemplation of the poetic traditions that abide in verse? 
Mythology, fraught with the fire of imagination, kindles the 
present from the past. 

In this new world of ours, shall slopes and mountaitis, gorges, 
caAons, flowery fields and forests, rivers, bays, Titanic lakes, and 




d 



XXXVlll 



mrXODUCTTON. 



shoreless reach of ocean be seen of eyes that lack insight, be 
known of men for whom nature does not live? Surely the age 
of myth is not yet wholly past j surely the beauties and the 
wonders of nature are a fable of things never fully revealed ; 
surely this new republic of ours, no less than her prototypes by 
Tyrrhenian and vEgean seas, utters, in her queenly form and 
flowing robes, a spirit, a truth, a potential poetry, and a beauty 
of art, the mere grace of which we Americans for lack of 
imaginative training, and sympathy, and awe have not yet valued, 
and have yet to apprehend. 



With young pupils, the teacher will probably find it best to begin 
recitations in this book at the fourth chapter (Greek Myths of the 
Creaticf). The first three chapters may be deferred until the class is 
belter able to understand them, or may be summarized in informal 
talks supplementary to the earlier recitations. Pupils of advanced 
classes in the High Schools will experience no difficulty in mastering 
these chapters wlien they come to review them. 

Since the myths are presented in a logical and genealogical arrange- 
ment, they should be recited in this order. When there is not time 
for detailed recitation on the whole book, some of the longer narra- 
tives, such as tlic Iliad, Odyssey, Acncid, or the Norse Myths, niifi;ht 
be read at home, and reported in class by way of oral or written 
composition, once a week or fortnight. These narratives should not, 
however, be assigned in arbitrar}' and inconsequential fragments ; 
their epical quality must be emphasized. 

The Cotnmeniary is numbered in sections corresponding to those 
of the text. The Textual and Interpretative Notes should be studied 
by older pupils in connection with each lesson. But they should not 
be suffered to spoil the interest in the stories, as such. Allusions and 
interpretations which the younger pupil does not appreciate will, if the 
book is used for purposes of reference in his further English, Latin, 
or Greek studies, be clear before the end of his course. The master- 
pieces mentioned tn the Illustrative Notes will suggest subjects for 
further study and for exercises in English Composition. 



THE 



CLASSIC MYTHS IN ENGLISH LITERATURE. 



CHAPTER r. 



I 
I 



THE ORIGIN AND ELEMENTS OF MYTH. 

I I. Purpose of the Study. — Interwoven with the fabric of 
our English literature, cf our epics, dramas, lyrics, and novels, 
of our essays and orations, like a golden warp where the woof is 
onlv too often of silver, are the myths of certain ancient nations. 
It is the purpose of this work to relate some of these myths, and 
to illustrate the uses to which they have been put in English 
literature, and, incidentally, in modem art. 

The Fable and the Myth. — Careful discrimination must be 
made between the fable and the myth. A fable is a story, like 
that of King Log, or the Fox and the Grapes, in which characters 
and plot, neither pretending to reality nor demanding credence, 
arc fabricated confessedly as the vehicle of moral or didactic 
instruction. Dr. Johnson narrows still further the scope of the 
(able : " It seems to be, in its genuine state, a narrative in which 
beings irrational^ and sometimes inanimate^ arc, for the purpose 
of moral instruction, feigned to act and speak with human interests 
and passions." Myths, on the other hand, are stories of anony- 
mous origin, prevalent among primitive peoples, and by them 
accepted as true, concerning supernatural beings and events, or 
natural beings and events inRuenced by supernatural agencies. 

1 




A 



CLASSIC MYTHS /.V ENGUSH UTERATVRE. 



Fables are made by individuals ; they may be told in any stage 
of a nation's history — by a Jotham when the Israelites were still 
under the Judges, 1200 years before Christ, or by Christ himself 
in the days of the most critical Jewish scholarship ; by a Menenius 
when Rome was still involved in petty squabbles of plebeians and 
patricians, or by Phscdnis and Horace in the Augustan age of 
Roman imperialism and Roman letters ; by an .'Ksop, well-nigh 
fabulous, to fabled fellow-slaves and Athenian tyrants, or by La 
Fontaine to the Grand Monarch and the most highly civilized race 
of seventeenth century Europe. 

Fables are vessels made to order into which a lesson may be 
poured. Myths are bom, not made. They are born in the 
infancy of a |>eople. They owe their features not to any one 
historic individual, but to the imaginative efforts of generations 
of story-tellers. The myth of Pandora, the first woman, endowed 
by the immortals with heavenly graces, and of Prometheus, who 
stole fire from heaven for the use of man ; the myth of the earth- 
bom giants that in the beginning contested with the gods the 
sovereignty of the universe ; of the moon-goddess who, with her 
buskined nymphs, jmrsues the chase across the azure of the 
heavens, or descending to earth cherishes the youth Kndymion,— 
these myths, germinating in some quaint and childish interpreta- 
tion of natural events or in some fire-side fancy, have put forth 
unconsciously under the nurture of the simple folk that conceived 
and tended them, luxuriant branches and leaves of narrative, and 
blossoms of poetic comeliness and form. 

The myths that we shall relate present wonderful accounts of 
the creation, histories of numerous divine beings, adventures of 
heroes in which magical and ghostly agencies play a part, and 
where animals and inanimate nature don the attributes of men and 
gods. Many of these myths treat of divinities once worshipped 
by the Greeks and the Romans, and by our Norse and German 
forefathers in the dark ages. Myths, more or less like these, may 
be found in the literatures of nearly all nations ; many are in the 
memories and mouths of savage races at this time existent. But 





I 



■ 
■ 



ORIGIN AND ELEMENTS OF MYTH. 



the stories here narrated are no longer believed by any one. The 
so-called divinities of Olympus and of Asgard have not a single 
worshipper among men. They dwell only in the realm of memory 
and imagination ; they are enthroned in the palace of art 

§ 2. Kinds of Myth. — If wc classify these stories according 
to the reason of their existence, we observe that they are of two 
kinds : explanatory and jesthctic. 

(i) Expianataty myths are the outcome of naive guesses al the 
truth, of mistaken and superstitious attempts to satisfy the curi- 
osity of primitive and unenlightened peoples, to unveil the myste- 
ries of existence, make clear the facts of the universe and the 
experiences of life, and to teach the meaning and the history of 
things. There are certain questions that nearly every child and 
every savage asks: What is the world, and what is mun? Who 
made them? What else did the maker do? and what the first 
men? Whence came the commodities of life ? What is death, and 
what becomes of us after death? The answers to such questions 
crystallized themselves gradually into stories of the creation, of 
the gods, and of the heroes — forefathers of men, but magnified, 
because unfamiliar, mysterious, and remote. 

Old literatures abound in explanatory myths of so highly imagi- 
native a character that we modems are tempted to read into 
them meanings which probably they never possessed. For the 
diverse and contradictory significations that have in recent years 
been proposed for one and the same myth could not all, at any 
one time, have been entertained by the myth-makers. On the 
other hand, the current explanations of certain myths are suffi- 
ciently apparent to be probable. **To the ancients," says John 
Fiske,' " the moon was not a lifeless body of stones and clods \ 
it was the homed huntress Artemis, coursing through the upper 
ether, or bathing herself in the clear lake ; or it was Aphrodite, 
protectress of loven, born of the sea- foam in the East, near 
Cyprus, The clouds were not bodies of vaporized water; they 

^ Myths and Myth-Makers, p. i8. Prupcr names have been anglicised. 




A 



4 CLASSIC AfYTflS TN ENGUSH UTERATURE, 

were cows, with swelling udders, driven to the milking by Hermes, 
the summer wind ; or g^eat sheep with moist fleeces, slain by the 
unerring arrows of BcUerophon, the sun ; or swan-maidens, flitting 
across the firmament; Valkyries hovering over the battle-field, to 
receive the souls of falling heroes ; or, again, they 'were mighty 
mountains, piled one above another, in whose cavernous recesses 
the divining-wand of the storm-god Thor revealed hidden treas- 
ures. The yellow-haired sun Phoebus drove westerly all day in his 
flaming chanot ; or, perhaps, as Meleagcr, retired for awhile in 
disgust from the sight of men \ wedded at eventide the violet 
light (CEnone, lole) which he had forsaken in the morning; sank 
as Hercules upon a blazing funeral-pyre, or, like Agamemnon, 
perished in a blood-stained bath ; or, as the fish-god, Dagou, 
swam nightly through the subterranean waters to appear eastward 
again at daybreak. Sometimes Phacthon, his rash, inexperienced 
son, would take the reins and drive the solar chariot too near the 
earth, causing the fruits to perish, and the grass to wither, and the 
wells to dry up. Sometimes, too, the great all-seeing divinity, in 
his wrath at the impiety of men, would shoot down his scorching 
arrows, causing pestilence to spread over the land." 

(2) 4'Esthetic myths have their origin in the universal desire for 
amusement ; in the revulsion of the mind from the humdrum of 
actuality. They furnish information that may not be practical but 
is delightful; they elicit emotion — sympathy, tears, and laughter 
— for characters and events remote from our commonplace expe- 
rience but close to the heart of things, and near and significant and 
enchanting to us in the atmosphere of imagination that embraces 
severed continents, inspires the dead with life, bestows color and 
breath upon the creatures of a dream, and wraps young and old 
in the wonder of hearing a new thing. The testhetic mjih, first, 
removes us from the sordid world of immediate and selfish needs, 
and then unrolls a vision of a world where men and things exist 
simply for the purpose of delighting us. And the enduring meas- 
ure of delight which the aesthetic myth affords is the test of what 
we call its beauty. 





ORIGIN AND ELEMENTS OF MYTH. 



■ 
I 



A myth, whether explanatory or aesthetic, is of unconscious 
growth, almost never concocted with a \new to instruction. 

According to their subjects, aesthetic myths are either historic 
or romantic, (a) If historic^ they utilize events which have a 
skeleton of fact. They supply flesh and sinew of divine or heroic 
adventure and character, blood and breath of probability and 
imagination. In historic myths the dependence of gods, heroes, 
and events upon the stem necessity of an overniling power, of 
fate or providence, is especially to be observed. Of this class is 
ihe Iliad of Homer. 

(^) U romantic, the rayths are characterized by bolder selection 
or creation of fundamental events ; indeed, events appear to be 
chosen with a view to displaying or developing the character of 
the hero. In such myths circumstances arc not so important as 
what the hero does with circumstances. The hero is more inde- 
pendent than in the historic myth, his liberty, his choice, — in 
judgment, in conduct, and in feeling, — his responsibility, are the 
centre of interest. In romantic myths like the Odyssey this 
sense of freedom does not impel the poet to capricious use of 
his material. Hut lesser bards than Homer have permitted their 
heroes to run riot in adventures that weary the imagination and 
offend the moral judgment. 

S 3. Diviaions of Inquiry. — We are next led to ask how these 
myths came into existence, and how it is that the same myth 
meets us under various forms in literatures and among peoples 
widely separate in time and place. These are questions of the 
Origin and Distribution of myths ; and in this chapter we shall 
discuss the former. 

§4. Elements of the Myth. — The myths preserved in the 
literatures of many civilized nations, such as the Greek, present to 
the imaginative and the moral sense aspects fraught with contradic- 
tion. In certain myths the gods display themselves as beautiful, 
wise, and beneficent beings ; in others they indulge in cruel, fool- 
ish, and unbeautiful practices and adventures. These contradic- 
tory elements have been called the reasonable and the senseless. 




d 



CLASS/C MYTfiS W BNGUSH UTERATURE. 



A myth of Mother Earth (Demeter) raoiirning the loss of her 
daughter, the Springtide, is reasonable ; a myth of Demeter 
devouring, in a fit of abstraction, the shoulder of the boy Pelops^ 
and replacing it with ivory, is capricious, apparently senseless. 
*' It is this silly, senseless, and savage element," as Max Miiller 
saySf "that makes mythology the puzzle which men have so long 
found it." 

§ 5. Reasonable Myths. — If myths were always reasonable, it 
would not be difficult to reach an agreement concerning some 
way by which they may have come into existence. 

Imagination. — If we assume that the peoples whu invented 
these stories of supernatural beings and events hail, with due 
allowance for the discrepancy in mental development, imagina- 
tions like our own, there is nothing in the history of reasonable 
myths to baffle our understanding. For, at the present lime, 
not only children and simple-minded men, like sailors or moun* 
taineers, but cultivated men of ordinary poetic sensibility, bestow 
attributes of life upon inanimate things and abstract ideas. ' The 
sun is nowadays thirsty, the ship is a woman, the clouds threaten, 
charity suffereth long, the waves are angry, time will tell, and 
death swallows all things. We look unto the hilis whence 
Cometh our helj^ ; the sun still rises, and, as Mr. Jasper maintains, 
"do move." By personification we, every day, bestow the attri- 
butes of human beings upon inanimate nature, animals, and 
abstractions. By our metaphors, we perpetuate and diffuse the 
poetic illusion; we talk not perhaps of the arrows of Apollo, but 
of a sun-stroke ; our poetry abounds in symbols of the moon, of 
the swift-wingfed wind, of the ravening sea. In our metonymies 
we use the sign for the thing signified, the crown for the king, the 
flag for the honor of the country ; and the crown and the flag are 
to-day possessed of attributes and individuality just as efficient as 
those that endowed the golden handmaids of Vulcan, or the eagle 
of Jove. Nor is hyperbole any less in use among us than it ^vas 
among the ancients ; we glorify our poUdcal heroes with superla- 
tives, they dignified theirs with divinity. 



ORICm AND ELEAfEKTS OF MYTH, 



I 



and 
H to r 



Belief. — But this resemblance in habits of imaginaiion, while 
it may help us to appreciate the mcrotal condition of primitive 
peoples, accentuates the distinction between our imagination and 
theirs. They, at some time or other, believed in these personifica- 
tions. We do not believe. But their belief is easier to comprehend 
when we remember that the myths of savages clustered about 
l>eings whom they worshipped. Among primitive nations the 
sense of awe in the presence of magnificent objects of nature — 
mountains, the sky, the sun, the sea — is universal. It springs 
from the fact that savages do not deem themselves superior to 
nature. They are not conscious of souls whose flight is higher 
than that of nature. On the contrary, since sun, sea, and winds 
move, the savage invests them with free-will and personality like 
man's. In proportion, however, as their size is grander or their 
movement more tremendous, these objects must be possessed of 
freedom, personality, and |>ower exceeding those of man. Why, 
then, should not the savage believe, of beings worthy of worship 
and fear and gratitude, all and more than all that is accredited 
to man? Why not confer upon them human ami superhuman 
passions and powers? If we were hving, like the Greek of old, 
close to the heart of nature, such personification of natural powers 
Id be more easy for us to appreciate. 

If for us also, as for the Greek," says Mr. Ruskin,' " the sun- 
rise means daily restoration to the sense of passionate gladness 
and of perfect life — if it means the thrilling of new strength 
through every ner\x, — the sheddingoverusof abetter peace than 
the peace of night, in the power of the dawn, — and the purging of 
evil vision and fear by the baptism of its dew \ — if the sun itself is 
an influence, to us also, of spiritual good, — and becomes thus in 
reality, not in imagination, to us also, a spiritual power, — we may 
then soon over-pass the narrow limit of conception which kept 
that power impersonal, and rise with the Greek to the thought o( 
an angel who rejoiced as a strong man to run his course, whose 




> Ruikin. Queen of the Air. 



i 



CLASSIC MYTHS IN ENGLISH UTEKATURE, 



voice, calling to life and to labor, rang round the earth, and whose 
going forth was to the ends of heaven." 

Regarding thus the religious condition of the savage, we may 
comprehend the existence of myths, and his acceptance of them. 

§ 6. Unreasonable Myths. — But he would maintain this atti- 
tude of acceptance only in the matter of good and beneficent gods 
and of righteous or reasonable myths. 

For how could a human being believe of the god whom he 
worshipped and revered, deeds and attributes more silly and more 
shameful than man can conceive of his fellow-man ? When, there- 
fore, we find senseless and shameless myths existing side by side 
with stories of the justice and righteousness of the same god, we 
must conclude that, since the worshipper could not believe both 
sets of attributes, he preserved his religious attitude before the 
good god, only by virtue of rejecting the senseless myth. 

A man's religious belief would assist him to entertain only the 
reasonable myths. How, then, did the senseless and cruel stories 
come into existence? And were they ever believed? 

How accounted for. — ITiere are many answers to these ques- 
tions. They may, however, be classified according to the theory 
of civilization that they assume. 

According to the Thfory of Deterioration^ or Human Depravity, 
man, although he had in the beginning luiowledge of common 
facts, pure moral and religious ideas, and true poelic concep- 
tions, has forgotten, with the lapse of time, the significance of 
words, facts, men, and events, adopted corrupt moral and religious 
notions, and given license to the diseased imagining of unlme and 
unlovely conceptions. 

According to the Tlieory of Improvement, or Progress, man, 
beginning with crude dreams and fancies about experience, life, 
the world, and God, has gradually developed truer and higher 
conceptions of his own nature, of his relation to the world about 
him, of duty, of art, and of religion. 

S 7. Theory of Deterioration. — T>et'us consider first the inter- 
pretations of mythology that assume a backward tendency in early 
civilization. They are : — 






I 



ORIGIN AND ELEMENTS OF MYTH, 9 

(i) The Historical^ or better called after its author, Euhemerus 
(B.C. 316), the Euhemeriitie. This explanation assumes that 
myths of the gods are exaggerated adventures of historic indi- 
viduals, chieftains, medicine-men, heroes ; and that supernatural 
events are distortions of natural but wonderful occurrences. In 
fact, it attributes to out forefathers a disease of the memory which 
prompted them to pervert facts. Jupiter, Odin, and Hercules 
were accordingly men who, after death, had been glorified, then 
deified, then invested with numerous characteristics and adventures 
appropriate to their exalted conditions of existence. 

The custom of worshipping ancestors, still existent in China and 
other countries, is adduced in support of this method of investi- 
gating myths, and it is undoubtedly true that the method explains 
the origin and growth of some myths. But it accounts rather for 
the reasonable than the senseless element of mythical adventure, 
while it fails to show how savages come to exaggerate their heroes 
into beings entirely out of the realm of that actual experience 
which is the basis of the historical assumption. 

(2) Hie Phihiogiiol Iftterpretation^ assumes also a disease of 
the memory by reason of which men misunderstand and confuse 
the meanings of words, and misapply the words themselves. Pro- 
fessor Max Mijller calls this aitection a disease of language. In 
ancient languages every such word as tia\\ night, earthy sun, spring, 
daivn, had an ending expressive of gender, which naturally pro- 
duced the corresponding idea of sex. These objects accordingly 
became in the process of generations not only persons, but male 
and female. As, also, the phrases expressing the existence or the 
activity of these natural objects lost their ancient signification 
under new colloquial coloring, primitive and simple statements of 
natural events acquired the garb and dignity of elaborate and often 
incongruous narratives, no longer about natural events, but about 
persons. Ancient language may, for instance, have said sunrise 



> Sm Max Mlilter's Chips from ■ German Workshop, Science of Religion, etc. ; 
Cox'i Aryan Myths, and numerous articles by the learned authors of Roscber's 
Atu/UAriiches Lexicon, 




d 



CL^SS/C MYTHS IN ENGUSif UTEHATURE. 

follows the iiawn. The word for sun was masculine ; the word 
for dawn, feminine. In time the sentence came to mean Apollo 
the god of the sun chases Daphne, the maiden of the glowing 
dawn. But the word, Daphnr^ meant also a laurel that burned 
easily, hence might readily be devoted to the god of the sun. So 
Daphne, the maiden, assuming the form of Daphne, the laurel, 
escaped the pursuit of her ardent lover, by becoming the tree 
sacred to his worship.' The merit of the philological method is, 
that, tracing the naine of a mythical character through kindred 
languages, it frequently ascertains for us the family of the myth, 
brings to light kindred forms of the myth, discovers in what lan- 
guage the name was born, and sometimes, giving us the original 
meaning of the divine name, "throws light on the legend of the 
bearer of the name and on its origin and first home."* 

But unfortunately there is very often no agreement among schol- 
ars about the original meaning of the names of mythical beings. 
The same name is frequently explained in half a dozen different 
ways. The same deity is reduced by different interpreters to half 
a dozen elements of nature. A certain goddess represents now the 
upper air, now light, now lightning, and yet again clouds. Naturally 
the attempts at construing her adventures must terminate in corre- 
spondingly dissimilar and unconvincing results. In fine, the philo- 
logical explanation assumes as its starting-point masculine and 
feminine names for objects of nature. It does not attempt to 
show how an object like the ocean came to be male, and not 
female, or how it came to be a person at all. And this latter, in 
studying the origin of myths, is what should first be ascertained. 
We must not, however, fall into the error of supposing that the 
philologists look for the origin and growth of all myths in words 
and the diseases of words. Max Mtlller grants that mythology 
does not always create its own heroes, but sometimes lays hold 
of real history. He insists that mythologists should bear in mind 



1 Max Mailer, Essar on Corop.Mythol. Oxford Essays. 1856. ScLReltg. II.5481V. 
* Andrew Lang, Myth, Ritual, and Religion. 1. 04-35, and Professor C. P. Tiele, 
ched by l-ang. 




I 



ORIGtS AND ELEMENTS OF MYTH. 



that there may be in every mythological riddle elements which 
resist etymological analysis, for the simple reason that their origm 
was not etymological, but historical. 

(3) 77/4? AiUgoricallnterpretation is akin to the philological in its 
resulu. It leads us to explain myths as embodiments in symbolic 
guise of hidden meaning: of physical, chemical, or astronomical 
facts; or of moral, religious, philosophical truth. The stories 
would at first exist as allegories, but in process of lime would 
come 10 be understood literally. Thus Cronus, who devours his 
own children, is identified with the power that the Greeks called 
Chronos (Time), which may truly be said to destroy whatever it has 
brought into existence. The story of lo is interpreted in a similar 
manner, lo is the moon, and Argus the starry sky, which, as 
it were, keeps sleepless watch over her. The fabulous wander- 
ings of lo represent the continual revolutions of the moon. This 
method of explanation rests upon the assumption that the men 
who made the allegories were proficient in physics, chemistry, 
astronomy, etc., and clever in allegory; but that, for some un- 
known reason, their descendants becoming stupid, knowledge as 
well as wit deserted the race. In some cases the myth was, with- 
out doubt, from the first an allegory ; but where the myth was 
consciously fashioned as an allegory, in all probabiUty it was pre- 
served as such. It is not, however, likely that allegories of deep 
scientific or philosophical import were invented by savages. Where 
the myth has every mark of great antiquity, — is especially silly 
and senseless and savage, — it is safe to believe that any profound 
allegorical meaning, read into it, is the work of men of a later 
generation who thus attempted to make reasonable the divine and 
heroic narratives which they could not otherwise justify, and of 
whose existence they were ashamed. We find, moreover, in some 
cases a great variety of symbolic explanations of the same myth, 
one with as great claim to credence as another, since they spring 
from the same source, the caprice or fancy of the expounder. 

Among the ancients Theagenes of Rhegium, six hundred years 
before Christ, suggested the allegorical theory and method of 



d 



12 



CLASSIC MYTHS IN SNGLISH UTEKATURE. 



interpretation. In modern times he has been supported by Lord 
Bacon, whose " Wisdom of the Ancients " treats niytlis as " elegant 
and instructive fables," and by many Germans, especially Professor 
Creuzer. 

(4) 7'he Thfoiogtcai Ifi/erprelation.^-'lXxis premises that roan- 
kind, either in general or through some chosen nationality, received 
from God an original revelation of pure religious ideas, and that, 
with tlie systematic and continued perversion of the moral sense, 
this knowledge of truth, morality, and spiritual religion fell into 
corruption. So in Greek mytholog>' the aitribiites of the various 
gods would be imperfect irradiations of the attributes of the one 
God. A more limited conception is, that all mythological legends 
are derived from the narratives of Scripture, though the real 
facts have been disguised and altered. Thus, Deucalion is only 
another name for Noah, Hercules for Samson, Arion for Jonah, etc. 
Sir Walter Raleigh, in his "History of the Worid," says, "Jubal, 
Tubal, and TubalCain were Mercury, Vulcan, aiid Apollo, invent- 
ors of pasturage, smithing, and music. The dragon which kept 
the golden apples was the serpent that beguiled Eve. Nimrod's 
tower was the attempt of the giants against heaven.'* There are 
doubtless many curious coincidences like these, but the theory 
cannot, without extravagance, be pusheti so far as to account for 
any great proportion of the stories. For many myths antedate 
the scriptural narratives of which they are said to be copies ; 
many more, though re^sembling the scriptural stories, originated 
among peoples ignorant of the Hebrew Bible. The theory rests 
upon two unproved assumptions: one, that all nations have had a 
chance to be influenced by the same set of religious doctrines j 
the other, that God made his revelation in the beginning once for 
all, and has done nothing to help man toward righteousness since 
then. The theological theory lias been advocated by Voss and 
other Germans in the seventeenth century, by Jacob Bryant in 
1774, and in this century most ably by Gladstone.* 

* W. E. Gladstone. Homer and the Homeric Age; Juventus Mundi; The 
Olyaipl&n Religion (North Am. Review. Feb.-Mny, 189a). 




ORIGIN AND ELEMENTS OF MYTH. 



U 



I 
I 



I 



§ 8. We are now ready for the explanation of myth-making 
based upon the Theory of Progress. This is best stated by 
Mr. Andrew Lang,' whose argument is, when possible, given in his 
own language. To the question how the senseless element got 
into myths, the advocates of this theory answer that it was in the 
minds and in the social condition of the savages who invented the 
myths. But since we cannot put ourselves back in history thou- 
sands of years to exaiiine the habits of thought and life of early 
savages, we are constrained to examine whether anywhere nowa- 
days there may exist " any stage of the human intellect in which 
these divine adventures and changes of men into animals, trees, 
stars, this belief in seeing and talking with the dead, are regarded 
as possible incidents of daily human hfe." As the result of such 
scientific investigation, numerous races of savages have been found 
who at this present day accept and believe just such silly and 
senseless elements of myth as puzzle us, and have puzzled many of 
the cultivated ancients who found them in their inherited mythol- 
ogies. The theory of development is, then, that " the savage and 
senseless element in n»ythology is, for the most part, a legacy from 
ancestors of civilized races who at the lime that they invented the 
senseless stones were in an intellectual state not higher than that 
of our contemporary Australians, Bushmen, Red Indians, the 
lower races of South America, and other worse than barbaric 
people of the nineteenth century.'* But what are the character- 
istics of the mental state of our contemporary savages? First 
and foremost, curiosity that leads them to inquire into the causes 
of things ; and second, credulity that impels them to invent or to 
accept childish stories that may satisfy their untutored experience. 
We find, moreover, that savages nowadays think of everything 
around them as having life and the parts and passions of persons 
like themselves. "The sky, sim, wind, sea, earth, mountains, 
trees, regarded as persons, are mixed up with men, beasts, stars, 

( Andrew Lang. Myth, Ritual, and Retieton, a vols., London. 1887: and Eocyc 
HriL. gfh ed.. article, Mythology. Mannliardi. Aniike Wald- nnd Frtdkultus, 
B«Tltn. 1877, E, \\. Tylor. Anihro]>oti>gy ; Primitive Culture. 





14 



CLASSIC MYTHS lAT ENGLISH LITERATURE. 



and stones on the same level of personality and life." The forces 
of nature, animals, and things have for these Polynesians and 
Bushmen the same powers and attributes that men have ; and in 
their opinion men have the following attributes: — 

" I. Relationship to animals and ability to be transformed, and 
to transform others into anim^ils and other objects. 

" a. Magical accomplishments, such as power to call up ghosts, 
or to visit ghosts and the region of the dead ; power over the 
seasons, the sun, moon, stars, weather, and so forth."' 

The stories of savages to-day abound in adventures based upon 
qualities and incidents like these. If these stories should sur- 
vive in the literature of these nations after the nations have been 
civilized, they would appear senseless and silly and cruel to the 
descendants of our contemporary savages. In like manner, "as 
the ancient Greeks, Egyptians, and Norsemen advanced in civil- 
ization, their religious thought and artistic taste were shocked by 
myths which were preserved by local priesthoods, or in ancient 
poems, or in popular religious ceremonials. . , . We may believe 
that ancient and early tribes framed gods like themselves in action 
and in experience, and that the allegorical element in myths is 
the addition of later peoples who had attained to purer ideas of 
divinity, yet dared not reject the religion of their ancestors."* 
The senseless element in the myths would, by this theory, be, for 
the most part, a "survival." Instead, then, of deteriorating, the 
races that invented senseless myths are, with ups and downs of 
civilization, intellectually and morally improved, to such extent 
that they desire to repudiate the senseless element in their mythi- 
cal and religious traditions, or to explain it as reasonable by way 
of allegory. This method of research depends upon the science of 
mind — psychology, and the science of man — anthropology. It 
may be called the Anthropolo^cal Method. The theory is that 
of "survival." 



> Ency. Bril., Mythology, 
' Chr. A. Lobeck, Aglaopkamus 
Lang. 



On tk4 Causts of Grt*k Mytkt^logy. Cited bjr 




ORrom AND ELEMENTS OF MYTH. 15 

It is of coune probable that occasionally the questionable ele- 
ment of the myth originated in germs other than savage curiosity 
and credulity : for instance, in the adventures of some great hero, 
or in a disease of language by which statements about objects 
came to be understood as stories about pereons. or perhaps in a 
conscious allegory, or, even, in the perversion of some ancient 
purer form of moral or religious truth. But, in general, the root 
of myth-making is to be found in the mental and social condition 
of primitive man, the confused personality that he extended to his 
surroundings, and the belief in magical powers thai he conferred 
upon those of his tribesmen that were shrewdest and most influ- 
ential. ITiis mental condition of the myth-maker should be 
premised in all scientific explanations of myth-making. 

Then, with .the aid of the philulogical method of interpretation 
and of the euhemeristic, the transition is intelligible from a personi- 
fication of the elements of nature or an exaggeration of historic 
facts to the notion oi supernatural beings presiding over, and 
governing, the different objects of nature — air, fire, water, the sun, 
moon, and stars, the mountains, forests, and streams — or pos- 
sessing marvellous qualities of action, passion, virtue, foresight, 
spirituality, and vice. 

The Greeks, whose imagination was lively, peopled all nature 
with such invisible inhabitants and powers. In Greece, says 
Wordsworth : ^ — 

**In that fair clime the lonely herdsnuin, itretchcd 

On tbe soft grass through half a summer's day. 

With music lulled his indulcnt repose; 

And, in some fit of weariness, if he, 

When liis own breath was silent, chanced to hear 

A distant strain far sweeter than the sounds 

Which his poor skill couM make, his fancy fetched 

Even from the blazing chariot of the Sun 

A beardless youth who touched a golden lute, 

And AUcd the illumined groves with ravishment. 

The nightly hunter, lifting up his eyes 

Toward the crescent Moon, Mith grateful heart 
t Cxcnnlon, Bk. IV. 



16 tL4SS/C .\/V7'//S /.V EKGUSH UTEKATURE. 

C&lled on the lovely Wanderer who bestowed 

That timely light to share bis joyous sport; 

And hence a beaming goddess with her nymph* 

Across the lawn and through the darksome grove 

(Not unaccompanied with tuneful notes 

By echo multiplied from rock or cave) 

Swept in the storm of chase; as moon an<1 stars 

Glance rapidly along the clouded heaven 

^\'hen winds are blowing strong. The traveller slaked 

His thirst from rill or gushing fount, and thanked 

The Naiad. Sunbeams upon distant hiUs 

Gliding apace with shadows in their train. 

Might, with small help from fancy, be transformed 

Into fleet Otcads sporting visibly. 

The Zephyrs, fanning, as they passed, their wings. 

Lacked not for love fair objects whom they wooed 

With gentle whisper. Withered boughs grotesque! 

Stripped uf their leaves and twigs by hoary age, 

From depth of shaggy covert peeping fiirth 

In the low vale, or on steep mountain side; 

And sometimes intermixed with stirring boms 

Of the live deer, or goat's depending beard; 

These were the lurking Satyrs, a wild brood 

Of gamesome deities; or Pan himself, 

The simple shepherd's awe-inspiring god," 

The phases of significance and beauty through which the physi- 
cal or natural myth may develop are expressed with poetic grace 
by Ruskin, in his '* Queen of the Air." ' The reader must, however, 
guard against the supposition that any myth has sprung into exist- 
ence fully equipped with physical, religious, and moral import. 
Ruskin himself says, " To the mean person the myth always meant 
little ; to the noble person, much." Accordingly, as we know, to 
the savage the myth was savage ; to the devotee it became relig- 
ious ; to the artist, beautiful ; to the philosopher, recondite and 
significant — in the course of centuries. 

1 Concerning which may be accepted the verdict that Mr. Ruskin passes upon 
PajTie Knight's Symbolical Language of Ancicnl Art, " Not trustworthy, iKing 
little more than a mass of conjectural memoranda; but the heap is suggestive, U 
well sifted. " 





I 

I 



ORIGIK AtfD ELEMENTS OF MYTH. 



17 



" If wc seek," says Ruskin, " to ascertain the manner in which 
the story first crystallized into its shape, we shall find ourselves 
led back generally to one or other of two sources — either to 
actual historical events, represented by the fancy under figures 
personifying them, or else to natural phenomena similarly endowed 
with life by the imaginative power, usually more or less under the 
influence of terror. The historical myths we must leave the mas- 
ters of history to follow ; they, and the events they record, being 
yet involved in great, though attractive and penetrable, mystery. 
But the stars and hills and storms are with us now, as they were 
with others of old ; and it only needs that we look at them with 
the earnestness of those childish eyes to understand the first words 
spoken of them by the children of men. And then, in all the 
most beautiful and enduring myths, we shall find not only a literal 
story of a real person — not only a parallel imagery of moral 
principle — but an underlying worship of natural phenomena, out 
of which both have sprung, and in which both forever remain 
rooted. Thus, from the real sun, rising and setting; from the 
real atmosphere, calm in its dominion of unfading blue and fierce 
in its descent of tempest — the Greek forms first the idea of two 
entirely personal and corporeal gods (Apollo and Athena), whose 
limbs are clothed in divine flebli, and whose brows are crowned 
with divine beauty ; yet so real that the quiver rattles at their 
shoulder, and the chariot bends beneath their weight. And, on 
the other hand, collaterally with these corporeal images, and never 
for one instant separated from them, he conceives also two omni- 
present spiritual influences, of which one illuminates, as the sun, 
with a constant fire, whatever in humanity is skilful and wise ; and 
the other, like the living air, breathes the calm of heavenly forti- 
tude and strength of righteous anger into every human breast that 
is pure and brave. 

" Now, therefore, in nearly every myth of importance, . . . you 
have to discern these three structural parts — the root and the two 
branches, 'i'hc root, in physical existence, sun, or sky, or cloud, 
or sea ; then the personal incarnation of that, becoming a trusted 




18 



CLASSIC MYTHS If/ ENGLISH LITERATURE. 



and companionable deity, with whom you may walk hand in hand, 
as a child with its brother or its sister; and lastly, the moral gig- 
niiicance of the image, which is in all the great myths eternally 
and beneficently true." 

Myth, in fine, " is not to be regarded as mere error and folly, 
but as an interesting product of the human mind. It is sham 
history^ the fictitious narrative of events that never happened." * 
But that is not the full statement of the case. Myth is also actual 
history of early and imperfect stages of thought and belief; it is 
the true narrative of unenlightened observation, of infantine grop- 
ings aikcr truth. Whatever reservations scholars may make on 
other points, most of them will concur in these : that some myths 
came into existence by a " disease of language ** \ that some were 
invented to explain names of nations and of places, and some 
to explain the existence of fossils and bones that suggested pre- 
historic animals and men ; that many were invented to gratify the 
ancestral pride of chieftains and clans, and that very many obtained 
consistency and form as explanations of the phenomena of nature, 
as expressions of the reverence felt for the powers of nature, and 
as personifications, in general, of the passions and the ideals of 
primitive mankind.' 



* E. B. Tylor, Anthropology, p. 387. New York, 1881. 

3 See also L. PrelJer, Griechische Mythologie, 1. tj. Max Mfiller, Comparative 
Mythology. Oxford Essays, 1856, p. 1-87; also Science of Religion, 1873, p. 335- 
403; Philosophy of Mylhology ; and ScL of Lang.. 7lh ed., II. 421-571. Hermann 
Paul. Grundriss d. Germ. Phil. Bd. i, L%. 5, 982-995, Mythologie (von E. Mogk). 




CHAPTER II 



THE DISTRIBUTION OF MYTHS. 



I 
I 



{ 9, Several theories of the appearance of the same explanatory 
or aesthetic myth, under various guises, in lands remote one from 
another, have been advanced } but none of them fully unveils 
the mystery. The difficulty lies not so much in accounting for the 
similarity of thought or material in different stories, as for the 
resemblance in isolated incidents and in the arrangement of inci- 
dents or plot. The principal theories of the distribution of myths 
are as follows : — 

(i) That the resemblances between the myths of diflTcrcnt 
nations are purely accidentai. This theory leaves us no wiser 
than we were. 

(2) That the stories have been borrowed by one nation from 
another. This will account for exchange only between nations 
historically acquainted with each other. It will not account for 
the existence of the same arrangement of incidents in a Greek 
myth and in a Polynesian romance. 

(j) That all myths, if traced chronologically backward, and 
geographically from land to land, will be found to have originated 
ttt India} This theory fails to account for numerous stories cur- 
rent among the modem nationalities of Kurope, of Africa, and 
of India itself. It leaves also unexplained the existence of certain 
myths in Egypt many centuries before India had any known his- 
tory : such as, in all probability, the Egyptian myth of Osiris. 
The theory, therefore, is open to the objection made to the theory 
of borrowing. 

(4) That similar myths are based upon historical traditions 
similar in various countries, or inherited from some mother coun- 



t Benfejr and Co«quin. See Ljuig's Myih, RJiual. and ReU^on, II. 999. 



30 



CLASSIC MYTMS W ENGUSH UTERATVHE, 



try. But, although some historical myths may have descended 
from a mother race, it has already been demonstrated (§ 7. i) that 
the historical (Euhemeristic) hypothesis is inadequate. It is, more- 
over, not likely that many historical incidents like those related m 
the Iliad and the Odyssey happened in the same order, and as 
actual history, in Asia Minor, Ithaca, Persia, and Norway. But 
we find myths containing such incidents in all these countries.' 

(5) That the Aryan tribes (from which the Indians, Persians, 
Phrygians, Greeks, Romans, Germans, Norsemen, Russians, and 
Celts are descended) ''started from a common centre" in the 
highlands of Northern India, *'3nd that from their ancient home 
they must have carried away, if not the developed myth, yet the 
quickening germ from which might spring leaves and fruits, vary- 
ing in form and hue according to the soil to which it shoulil be 
committed and the climate under which the plant might reach 
maturity."^ Against this theory, it may be urged that stories 
having only the undeveloped germ or idea in coinmou would nut, 
with any probability, after they had been developed independently 
of each other, possess the remarkable resemblance in details that 
many widely separated myths display. Moreover, the assumption 
of this common stock considers only Aryan tribes : it ignores 
Africans, Mongolians, American Indians, and other peoples whose 
myths resemble the Aryan, but are not traceable to the same 
original germ. The Aryan ^trm-thfof-y has, however, the merit 
of explaining resemblances between many myths of diflerent Aryan 
nations. 

(6) That the existence of similar incidents or situations is to 
be explained as resulting from the common facts of human 
thought, experience, and sentiment. This may be called the 
psxchohgical theory. It was entertained by Grimm, and goes hand 



1 Lang, Myth, Ritual, and Rel^ion, It. 300; Cox, Mythology of the Aryan 
NiLiions, I. 100. 

8 Tlic Rev. Sir G. W. Cox. Mythology of Aryan Nations, I. 99; also, same 
theory. Max Mflller's Cliips from a German Workshop; Andrew lAriR. Mnh, 
Ritual, ind KcHgion, If. 297. 




I 

I 
I 

I 



r^jsr/pisuTfox of myths. 



ii 



in hand with the anthropolo^cal, or "survivalist/* explanation of 
the elements of myth, " In the long history of mankind," says 
Mr. Aodrew Lang, ** it is impossible to deny that stories may 
conceivably have spread from a single centre, and been handed 
on from races like the Indo-European and Semitic to races as 
far removed from them in every way as the Zulus, the Australians, 
the Eskimo, the natives of the South Sea Islands. But wliile 
the possibility of the diffusion of myths by borrowing and trans- 
mission must be allowed for, the hypothesis of the origin of myths 
in the savage state of the intellect supplies a ready explanation 
of their wide diffusion," Many products of early an — clay bowls 
and stone weapons — are peculiar to no one national taste or skill, 
they are what might have been expected of human conditions 
aDd intelligence. ''Many myths may be called 'human' in this 
sense. They are the rough product of the early human mind, and 
are not yet characterized by the differentiations of race and cul- 
ture. Such myths might spring up an>'where among untutored 
men, and anywhere might sur\'ive into civilized literature.*' ' 

The distribution of myth, like its origin, is inexplicable by any 
one theory. The discovery of racial families and of family tradi- 
tions narrows the problem, but does not solve it. The existence 
of the same story in unrelated nationalises remains a perplexing 
Jact, toward the explanation of which the theories of "borrow- 
ing" and of "similar historic tradition," while plausible, are but 
unsubstantiated contributions. And until we possess the earliest 
records of those unrelated nationalities that have similar myths, 
or until we discover monuments and log-books of some commer- 
cial nation that, in prehistoric times, circumnavigated the globe, 
and deposited on remote shores and islands the seeds of the 
parent mythic plant, we must accept as our only scientific ex- 
planation the psychological, or so-called Auman, theory : — Given 
similar mental condition with similar surroundings, similar imagi- 
native products, called myths, will result.' 

» Ency. Brit. 9:h ed., article, AfytiaUjey. Ct Tylor's PrimitiTe Culture. I. 369? 
Tyler's Anthropology, 297- 

* Sec T. C. |ohnston's Did the Phoenicians DiKOver Amenca ? idfta. 




CLASSIC MYTHS IN ENGUSH UTERATUR&. 



CHAPTER III. 

THE PRESERVATION OF MYTHS. 

§ lO. Before the introduction of writing, myths were preserved 
in popular traditions, in the sacred ceremonials of colleges of 
priests, in the narratives chanted by families of minstrels or by 
professional bards wandering from village to village — from court 
to court, and in occasional hymns sung by privileged harpists, like 
Demodocus of Phseacia,* in honor of a chieftain, an ancestor, or 
a god. Many of these early bards are mere names to us. Most 
of them are probably as mythical as the songs with which they are 
accredited. The foUownng is a brief account of mythical prophets, 
of mythical musicians and poets* and of the actual poets and his- 
torians who recorded the mythologies from which English literature 
draws its classical myths : the Greek, the Roman, the Norse, and 
the German. 

§ u. In Greece. — (i) Mythical Prophets. — To some of the 
oldest bards was attributed the gift of prophecy. Indeed, nearly 
every expedition of mythology was accompanied by one of these 
seers, priests, or" m«licine-men," as we might call them. 

Melampus was the first Greek said to be endowed with prophetic 
powers. Hefore his house there stood an oak tree containing a 
serpent's nest. The old serpents were killed by the slaves, but 
Melampus saved the young ones. One day when he was asleep 
under the oak, the serpents licked his ears with their tongues, 
enabling him to understand the language of birds and creeping 
things.' At one time his enemies seized and imprisoned him. 



lOdjrssejr 8:^50. 



> Cf, the experience of Sifurd, \ 185. 




PRESERVATION OF MYTHS: 



23 



I 



I 



But Mclarapus in the silence of the night heard from the wood- 
worms in the timbers that the supports of the house were nearly 
eaten through and the roof would soon fall in. He told his captors. 
They took his warning, escaped destruction, rewarded the prophet, 
and held him in high honor. 

Other famous soothsayers were Amphiarafls, who took part in 
the War of the Seven against Thebes ; Calchas, who accompai^cd 
the Greeks during the Trojan War; Helenus and Cassandra, of 
King Priam's family, who prophesied for the Trojan forces ; Tire- 
sias, the blind prophet of Thebes ; and Mopsus, who attended the 
Argonauts. The stories of these expeditions will follow in due 
course. 

(a) Mythical Musicians anj Pods. — Since the poets of an- 
tiquity sang their stories or hymns to an accompaniment of their 
own upon the harp or lyre, they were skil led in the ar t of music 
as well a s in that of ver se- 
O rpheus, whose adventures are elsewhere narratcd^^ pas ses in 
tradition for t he oldes t of Greek l^TJ sts, and th e, special f avorite, 
even^the son, o f the god Apoll o, patron of musician s. This Thra- 
cian bar d is said to have taught mysterious truths concerning th e 
ori gin of things and the immortality of the sou l. But the fraj^me nts 
of Orphic Hvtqns which are attributed to him are probably the 
work of philosop hers o f a much later period in Greek literatu re. 

Another iTiracian bard, Thamyrls, is said in his presumption to 
have challenged the Muses to a trial of skill. Conquered in the 
contest, he was deprived of his sight. To Musaeu s, t he so n QJ 
Orpheus, was attributed a hymn on the Eleusin i an Mysteries ,' and 
other sacred poems and oracles. Milton couples his name with 
that of Orpheus : — 



" But O, sad virgin, that thy power 
Might raise Musaeus from hit bower. 
Or bid the soul of Orpheus ling 
Sach notes as warbled to the string. 




s ^ io6, and Coramentaxy. 




CIASSIC MYTHS IN ENGLISH UTERATVRE. 



J Drew iron tears down Plulo'» clieck, I 

I And made Hell grant what luve did &eek."' • 

Other legendary bards or musicians were LintiSj Marsyas, and 
Amphion.' 

(3) The Poets of Mythology. — Homer, from whose poems of 
the Iliad and Odyssey we have taken the chief part of our 
chapters on the Trojan War and the return of the Grecians, is 
almost as mythical a personage as the heroes he celebrates. The 
traditionary story is th at he was a wandering minstrel, bl ind and 
o ld, w ho travell ed from place to place singing his lays to the mus ic 
of his harp , in th ecoiirts of princes or the cottai^es of peasa nts, 
— a d ependant upon the voluntary offerin^^s of his hearer s. Byron 
calls him " the blind old man of Scio's rocky isle " ; and a well- 
known epigram, alluding to the uncertainty of the fact of his birth- 
place, runs : — 

" Seven wealthy towns contend for Homer dead, 
Through which the living Homer begged his bread." 

These seven places were Smyrna, Chios (now Scio), Colophon, 
Ithaca, Pyius, Argos, and Athens. 

Modem scholars have doubted whether the Homeric poems 
are the work of any single mind. This uncertainty arises, in part, 
from the difficulty of believing that poems of such length could 
have been committed to writing in the age usually assigned to 
these, when materials capable of transmitting long productions 
were not yei in use. On the other hand, it is asked how poems 
of such length could have been handed down from age to age 
by means of the memory alone. This question is answered by 
the statement that there was a professional body of men whose 
business it was to commit to memory, and rehearse for pay. the 
national and patriotic legends. 

Pisistratus of Athens ordered a commission of scholars (about 

1 tl Penseroso. 11. 103-108. 

■ See \ 78 Unus, p-447 Marsyas, § 64 Amphion; and Commentary. 




PRESERVATION OF MYTHS. 



2S 



I 



B.C.) to collect and revise the Homeric poems ; and it is 
probable that at that time certain passages of the Iliad and 
Odyssey, as we now have them, were interpolated. Beside the 
Iliad and the Odyssey, many other epics passed in antiquity under 
Homer's name. The so-called Homeric Hymns to the gods which 
were composed, by various poets, after the death of Homer, are 
a source of valuable information concerning the attributes of the 
divinities addressed. 

The date assigned to Homer, on the authority of Herodotus, is 
850 B.C. The preservation and further fashioning of myths fell, 
after Homer's time, into the hands of the Rhapsodists, who chanted 
epic songs, and of the Cyclic Poets, who elaborated into various 
epic circles^ or completed wholes, neglected traditions of the 
Trojan War and myths of the two wars against Thebes.' 

Hesiod is, like Homer, one of the most important sources of 
our knowledge of (ireek mythology. He id thought by some to 
have been a contemporary of Homer, but concerning the relative 
dates of the two poets there is no certainty. Hesiod was born 
in Ascra in Bceotia ; he spent his youth as a shepherd on Mount 
Helicon, his manhood in the neighborhood of Corinth, and wrote 
two great poems, the Works and Days, and the Theogony, or 
Genealogy of the Gods. From the former wc obtain a connected 
account of Greek traditions concerning the primitive commodities 
of life, the arts of agriculture and navigation, the sacred calendar, 
and the various prehistoric ages. From the latter poem we learn 
the Greek mythology of the creation of the world, the family of 
the gods, their wars, and their attitude toward primaeval man. 
\Miile Hesiod may have written at a somewhat later period than 
Homer, it is noteworthy that his stories of the gods have more of 
the savage or senseless element than Homer's. The artist of the 
Iliad and the Odyssey seems to have refined the stories into poetic 
gold ; Hesiod has gathered them in the are like so many speci- 
mens for a museum. 

A company of Lyric Poets, of whom Stesichorus (6ao BX«), 





CLASSIC MYTHS IN ENGLISH LITERATURE. 



Alcffius (6ii B.C.), Sappho (6io B.C.), Arion (600 B.C.), Simonidea 
of Ceos (556 B.c.)» Ibycus (540 B.C.), Anacreon (530 d.c). and 
Pindar (522 b.c) are the most prominent, have contributed much 
to our knowledge of mythology. They have left us hymns to the 
gods, references to mythical heroes, and accounts of more or less 
pathetic legendary adventures. 

Of the works of Sappho few fragments remain, but they estab- 
lish her claim to eminent poetical genius. Her story is frequently 
alluded to. Being passionately in love with a beautiful youth 
named Ph^on, and failing to obtain a return of affection, she is 
said to have thrown herself from the promontory of Leucadia 
into the sea, under a superstition that those who should take 
that ** Lover's-leap " would, if not destroyed, be cured of their 
love. 

Of Arion the greatest work was a dithyramb or choral hymn to 
the god of wine. It is said that his music and song were of such 
sweetness as to charm the monsters of the sea ; and that when 
thrown overboard on one occasion by avaricious seamen, he was 
borne safely to land by an admiring dolphin. Spenser represents 
Arion, mounted on his dolphin, accompanying the train of Nep- 
tune and Amphitritc : — 

" Then wu there heard a most celestial ftound 
Of dainty music which did next ensue, 
Audi un the floating waters as enthroned, 
Arion with his haq) unto him drew 
The ears and hearts of all that goodly crew; 
Even when as yet the dolphin which him bore 
Through the vl^gean seas from pirates' view, 
Stood still, by him astonished at his lore, 
And all the raging seas for Joy forgot to roar." 

SimoDides was one of the most prolific of the early poets of 
Greece, but only a few fragments of his compositions have de- 
scended to us. He wrote hymns, triumphal odes, and elegies, 
and in the last species of composition he particularly excelled. 
His genius was inclined to the pathetic \ none could touch with 



PRESEHVATJOht OF MYTHS. 



27 



truer effect the chords of human sympathy. The Lamentation 
of Danae, the most important of the fragments which remain of 
his poetry, is based upon the tradition that Danae and her infant 
son were confined by order of her father Acrisius in a chest and 
set adrift on the sea. The myth of her son, Perseus, will be 
found in a later chapter of this book.' 

Myths received their freest and perhaps most ideal treatment 
at the hands of the greatest lyric poet of Greece, Pindar (532 B.C.;. 
In his hymns and songs of praise to gods and in his odes com- 
posed for the victors in the national athletic contests, he was 
accustomed to use the mythical exploits of Greek heroes as a text 
from which to draw morals appropriate to the occasion. 

The three great Tragic Poets of Greece have handed down to 
us a wealth of mythological material. From the plays of AscbyluB 
(525 B.C.) we gather, among other noble lessons, the fortunes of 
the family of Agamemnon, the narrative of the expedition against 
Thebes, the sufferings of I'rometheus — benefactor of men. In 
the tragedies of Sophocles (495 B.C.) we have a further account 
of the family of Agamemnon, myths of <_Edipus of Thebes and 
his children, stories connected with the Trojan War, and the last 
adventure and the death of Hercules, Of the dramas of Euripides 
(480 B.C.) there remain to us seventeen ^ in which are found 
stories of the daughters of Agamemnon, the rare and beautiful 
narrative of Alcestis, and the adventures of Medea. All of these 
stories will be recounted in their proper places. 

The Comedies of Aristophanes, also, are replete with matters of 
mythological import. 

Of the later poets of mythology, only two need be mentioned 
here, — ApoUonins of Rhodes (194 B.C.), who wrote in frigid style 
the story of Jason's Voyage for the Golden Fleece ; and Theoc- 
ritus of Sicily (270 B.C.), whose rural idylls are at once charm- 
ingly natural and romantic.^ 



S\ 133-137. 

* For other authorities, and for « few standard translations of the Greek Claiafea. 
see Commeniary. \ Ji. 




ClASS/C MVr/^S AV A.V6i.yji// UTBRATUKE, 



(4) Histoham of Myihology. — The earliest narrators in prose 
of the myths, legends, and genealogies of Greece lived about 
600 B.C. Herodotus, the "father of histor>*" (4848,0.), embalms 
various myths in his account of the conflicts between Asia and 
Greece. Apollodorus (140 b.c.) gathers the legends of Greece 
later incorporated in the Library of Greek Mythology. That 
(ielightful traveller Pausanias makes special mention in his Tour 
of Greece, of the sacred customs and legends that had maintained 
themselves as late as his time (160 a.d.)* Lucian, in his Dialogues 
of the Gods and Dialogues of the Dead, awakens ' inextinguishable 
laughter ' by his satire on ancient faith and fable. 

§ 12. Roman Poets of Mythology. — Vergil, called also by his 
surname, Maro, from whose poem of the ^^neid we have taken 
the story of /Eneas, was one of the great poets wlio made the 
age of the Roman emperor, Augustus, celebrated. Vergil was 
bom in Mantua in the year 70 B.C. His great poem is ranked 
next to those of Homer, in that noble class of poetical composi- 
tion, the epic. Vergil is inferior to Homer in originality and 
invention. The ^neid, written in an age of culture and science, 
lacks that charming atmosphere of belief which invests the naive, 
ox poptthit\ epic. The myths concerning the founding of Rome, 
which Vergil has received from earlier writers^ he has here fused 
into a literary epic. But what the ^-Encid lacks of epic simplicity, 
it makes up in patriotic spirit, in lofty moral and civic ideals, in 
correctness of taste, and in stylistic form, 

Ovid, often alluded to in poetry by his other name, Naso, was 
born in the year 43 b.c. He was educated for public life, and 
held some offices of considerable dignity : but poetr)' was his 
delight, and he early resolved to cultivate it. He accordingly 
sought the society of contemporary poets, and was acquainted 
with Horace and saw Vergil, though the latter died when Ovid 
was yet too young and undistinguished to have formed his 
acquaintance. Ovid spent an easy life at Rome in the enjoy- 
ment of a competent income. He was intimate with the family 
of Augustus, the emperor \ and it is supposed that some serious 




PRESERVATfOS' OF MYTHS. 



Tfi 



offence given to a member of that family was the cause of an 
event which reversed the poet's happy circumstances, and clouded 
the latter portion of his life. At the age of fifty he was ban- 
ished from Rome, and ordered to betake himself to Tomi, on the 
borders of the Black Sea. His only consolation in exile was to 
address his wife and absent friends. His letters were all in verse. 
They are called the "Tristia," or Sorrows, and Letters from Pontus. 
The two great works of Ovid are Iiis " Metamorphoses," or Trans- 
formations, and his *' Fasti," or Poetic Calendar. They are both 
mythological poems, and from the former we have taken most of 
our stories of Grecian and Roman mythology. These poems have 
thus been characterized : — 

" The rich mytholog)' of Greece furnished Ovid, as it may still 
ftimish the poet, the painter, and the sculptor, with materials for 
his art. With exquisite taste, simplicity, and pathos he has nar- 
rated the fabulous traditions of early ages, and given to them that 
appearance of reality which only a master-hand could impart. 
His pictures of nature are striking and tnie ; he selects with care 
that which is appropriate ; he rejects the superfluous, and when 
he has completed his work, it is neither defective nor redundant. 
The ' Metamorphoses * are read with pleasure by the young and 
old of every civilized land." 

In an incidental manner, Horace, the prince of Roman l3Tic 
poets, and the lyric and elegiac writers, Catullus, TlbuUus, and 
PropertiuB, have liberally increased our knowledge of Greek and 
Roman myth.' 

Seneca, the teacher of Nero, is best known for his philosophical 
treatises ; but he wrote, also, tragedies, the materials of which are 
well known Greek legends. Apuleius, bom in Africa, 114 a.d., 
interests us as the compiler of a clever romance, The Golden 
Ass ;• the most pleasing episode of which, the story of Cupid and 
Psyche, will hereafter be related.' 

> With Kgard to translations of these and other L^dn poets, se« Commentary, 
{it. ' Bued upon LucUn's * Ludus or the Ass ' and other Greek storln. 
• Translation in Walter Pater's Marias tht B/iatrtam. 




9D 



CL4SS/C MYTHS m ENGLISH UTERATURB. 



§ 13. Records of Norse Mythology. — A system of mylhology 
of especial interest, — as belonging to the race from which we, 
through our EogUsh ancestors, derive our origin, — is that of the 
Norsemen, who inhabited the countries now known as Sweden, 
Denmark, Norway, and Iceland. Their mythological lore has 
been transmitted by means of Runes, Skaldic poems, the Eddas, 
and the Sagas. 

The Runes. — The earliest method of writing prevalent among 
the Norsemen was by runes. The word means hidden lore^ or 
mystery. The earliest runes were merely fanciful signs supposed 
to possess mysterious power. As a synonym for writiug^ the term 
was first apphed to the Northern alphabet, itself derived from 
ancient Greek and Roman coins. Of the old Scandinavian runes 
several specimens have been found — one an inscription on a 
golden horn of the third r>r fourth century a.d., which was dug 
up in Schleswig a hundred and sixty years ago; another, on a 
atone at Tune in Norway. From such an alphabet the Anglo- 
Saxon runes were derived. Inscriptions in later Scandinavian runes 
have been discovered in Sweden, Denmark, and the Isle of Man. 
The characters are of the stiff and angular form necessitated by the 
materials on which they were inscribed : tombstones, spoons, chairs, 
oars, and so forth.' It is doubtful whether mythological poems 
were ever written in this way ; dedications to pagan deities, ditties 
of the eleventh century, and love-spells have, however, been found. 

The Skaldic Poems. — The bards and poets of the Norsemen 
were the Skalds. They were the depositaries of whatever historic 
lore there was ; and it was their office to mingle something oi 
inlellectual gratification with the rude feasts of the warriors, by re- 
hearsing, with such accompaniments of poetry and music as their 
skill could afford, the exploits of heroes living or dead. Such 
songs were called Drapas. The origin of Skaldic poetry is lost 
in mythic or prehistoric darkness, but the Skalds of Iceland con- 
tinued to play a most important part in the literary development 



t Cleuby and Vigfusson** Icelandic-English Dictionary. 

tanr. 



See also Com men- 




PRESERVATION OF MYTHS, 



31 



of the north as laie as the end of the fourteenth century. With- 
out their cooperation, the greater part of the songs and Sagas of 
genuine antiquity could hardly have reached us. The Skaldic 
diction which was poHshed to an artistic extreme, with its pagan 
metaphors and similes, retained its supremacy over Hterary form 
even after the influence of Christianity had revolutionized national 
thought.* 

The Eddas. — The chief mythological records of the Norse are 
the Eddas and the Sagas. The word Eiida has usually been con- 
nected with the Icelandic for great-^ramimoiher ;' it has also 
been regarded as a corruption of the High (ierman ErJa, Mother 
Earth, from whom, according to the lay in which the word first 
occurs, the earliest race of mankind sprang,* — or as the point or 
luaJ of Norse i)oeiry,* or as a tale concerned with death^ or as 
derived from Odde, the home of the reputed collector of the 
Elder Edda. But, of recent years» scholars have looked with 
most favor upon a derivation from the Icelandic d6r, which means 
mind, or poetry." There are two Icelandic collections called 
Eddas: Snorri's and Saemund's. Until the year 1643 the name 
was applied to a book, principally in prose, containing Mythical 
Tales, a Treatise on the Poetic Art and Diction, a Poem on Metres, 
and a Rhymed GIossar>' of Synonyms, with an appendix of minor 
treatises on grammar and rhetoric — the whole intended as a guide 
for poets. Although a note in the Upsala manuscript, of date 
about 1300 A.D., asserted that this work was "put together" by 
Snorri Sturlason, who lived 1178-1241, the world was not in- 
formed of the fact until 1609, when Arngrim Johnsson made the 
announcement in his Constitutional History of Iceland.' While 



1 F, W. Horn's Gcschichtc d. IJlcratur d. Skandinavi&chen Nordens, 97-42. 

* Clea&by and Vigfusson's Dictionary; LQning's Die Edda, 1859. 

' The Lay of Righ in Snorri's Edda ; Vigfitsson and Powell's Corpus PoelictilD 
Borvale. It. 514. ^ Jacob Grimm. 

* The C<?liic nidradh ■ Professor Rhys, Academy, Jan. 31. 1880. 

* Ame MagnussoQ, see Morlcy's Eng. Writers, II. 336, and Murray's New Eof. 
Dictionary, 

' Corp! Poet. Borcile. I.. XXVII.. ete. 




38 CLASSIC MYTHS m ENGUSH UTERATURE. 

the main treatises on the poetic art are, in general, Snorri's, the 
treatises on grammar and rhetoric have been, with more or less 
certitude, assigned to other writers of the twelfth and thirteenth 
centuries. It is probable, too, that in the Mythical Tales, or the 
Delusion of Oylfi, Snorri merely enlarged, and c<iited with poet- 
ical illustrations, the work of earlier hands. The poets of the 
fourteenth and fifteenth centuries do not speak of Snorri, but 
they refer continually to tlie " rules of Edda," and frequently 
to the obscurity and the conventionality of Eddie phraseol- 
ogy, figures^ and art. Even at the present day, in Iceland, it 
is common to hear the term '* void of Eddie art," or " a bungler 
in Eddie art." A rearrangement of Snorri*s Edda, by Magnus 
Olafsson (1574-1636), is much t>etter known than the original 
work. 

In 1642, Bishop Bryniolf Sveinsson discovered a manuscript of 
the mythological poems of Iceland. Misled by theories of his 
own and by a fanciful suggestion of the famous antiquary Biorn of 
Scardsa, he attributed the composition of these poems to Saemimd 
the Wise, a historian who lived 1056-1 133. Henceforth, conse- 
quently, Snorri's work is called the Younger, or Prose Edda, in 
contradistinction to Bryniolf's find, which is known as the Elder, 
the Poetical Edda, or the Edda of Sacmund. The oldest manu- 
script of the Poetical Edda is of the thirteenth century. Its 
contents were probably collected not later than 1150. The com- 
position of the poems cannot well be placed eariier than the ninth 
or tenth centuries after Christ ; and a consideration of the habits, 
laws, geography, and vocabulary illustrated by the poems leads 
eminent scholars to assign the authorship to emigrants of the 
south Norwegian tribes who, sailing westward, "won Waterford 
and Limerick, and kinged it in York and East England."^ The 
poems are Icelandic, however, in their general character and his- 
tory. They arc principally of heroic and mythical import : such 
as the stories of Balder's Fate, of Skirnir's Journey, of Thor's 
Hammer, of Helgi the Hunding's Bane, and the twenty lays that 
I Corp. Poel. Borrate, I.. LXXI.; LXITl.-LXIV. 





I 



PRESERVATION OF MYTHS, 



m fragmentary fashion tell the eventful history of the Volsungs 
and the Kibelungs.* 

The Sagas. — The Eddos contain many myths and mythical 
features that contradict the national character of both Germans 
and Norsemen ; but the Sagas have their roots in Norse civiliza- 
tion, ami are national property.' Of these mythic-heroic prose 
compositions the most important to us is the Voisunga Saga, which 
was put together probably in the twelfth centur)', and is based in 
part upon the poems of the Kldcr Kdda, in part upon floating 
traditions, and in part upon popular songs that now are lost.* 

§ 1 4. Records of German Mythology. — The story of the Vol- 
sungs and the Nibelungs springs from mythological sources com- 
mon to the whole Teutonic race. Two distinct versions of the 
Saga survive, — the I^w or North German, which we have already 
noticed in the lays of the Elder Edda and in the Norse Voisunga 
Saga, and the High or South German, which has been preserved 
in German folk-songs and in the Nibehmgenbed, or Lay of the 
Nibelungs, thai has grown out of them. The Norse form of the 
story exhibits a later survival of the crtdulotis, or myth- making, 
mental condition. The l>ay of the Nibelungs absorbed, at an 
earlier date, historical elements, and began sooner to restrict the 
personality of its heroes within the compass of human limitations.' 

Although there are many manuscripts, or fragments of manu- 
scripts, of the Nibelungenlied that attest its popularity between 
the thirteenth and sixicenth centuries, it was not until the Swiss 
critic, J. J. Bodmer, published, in 1757, portions of two ancient 
poems, •* The Revenge of Kriemhild " and " The Lament over the 
Heroes of Elzel,*' that the attention of modern scholars was called 
to this famous German epic. Since that time many theories of the 
composition of the Nibelungenlied have been advanced. It has 



1 Fot literature, tec Commcntar?, $| 177-185. 

* Paut't Grundris^ d. Germ. Phi!., i Btl., 5 Lfe.; Mythologie. 

Morris and Miigntlsson's The Story of the VOUungs and Nibelungs. 
ich. d. Lit. d. Skand. Nordens, 27-43, 58, etc. 

• Werner llahn. Das Nihclungenlied. 



Horn'i 



34 



CLASSIC MYTHS IN BNGUSH UTERATURE, 



been held by some that the German epic is an adaptation of the 
Norse version ; ^ by others, that the Scandinavians, not the Ger- 
mans, borrowed the story ; and by others still, thiit the epics, while 
proceeding from a common cradle, are of independent growth. 
The last theory is the most tenable.^ Concerning the history ol 
the NibeUmgenlied, it has been maintained that since, during the 
twelfth century, when no poet would adopt any other poet*s 
stanzaic form, the Austrian Von Ktirenberg used the stanzaic 
form of the Nibelungenlied, the epic must be his.* It has also 
been urged that the poem, having been written down about 1140, 
was altered in metrical form by younger poets, until, in 1200 or 
thereabouts, it assumed the form preserved in the latest of tlie 
three great manuscripts.' But the theory advanced by Lachmann 
is still of great value : that the poem consists of a number of 
ancient ballads of various age and uneven worth ; and that, about 
I a 10, a collector, mending some of the ballads to suit himseif, 
strung them together on a thread of his own invention. 

In fine, the materials of the poem would persuade us not only of 
its origin in very ancient popular lays, but of their fusion and im- 
provement by the imaginative effort of at least one, and, probably, 
of several poets, who lived and wrote between 1130 and 1200 a.d. 
The metrical stnirture. also, would indicate derivation from the 
German folk-song and modification due to multifarious handling 
on the part of popular minstrels and poets of written verse.* 

§ 15. Records of Oriental Mythology." — Although the myths 
of Egypt, India, and Persia are of intense interest and importance, 
they have not materially affected English literature. The follow- 
ing is, however, a brief outline of the means by which some of 
them have been preserved. 



1 The Grimm brothers; t. d. Hagen; VilmRr. 

s Werner Kahn ; [as. Sime, Eocy. Brit., NiMw^miUd, 

• Pfeiflfcr. 

• Bartsch. see Ency. Brit 

• Werner Hahn. 18, 58-60. For literature. »ee Commentary. ^ t96^ 

■ For translntions of Oriontal Myths, see Commentary, f 15; for mythical per- 
sonages, aee Index and Dictionary. 



PRESEHVATION OF MYTHS. 



3S 



Egyptian Records. — These are (i) The Hieroglyphs, or sacred 
inscxiptions in Tombs ol the Kings, and other solemn places, — 
conveying ideas by symbols, by phonetic signs, or by both; (2) 
The Sacred Papyri, containing hymns to the gods; (3) The 
Books of the Dead and of the Lower Hemisphere, — devoted to 
necromantic incantations, prayers for the souls of the departed, 
and other rituals. 

Indian Records. — (i) The Vedas, or Holy Scriptures of the 
Hindoos, which fall into four divisions. The most ancient, the 
Rig-veda, consists of hymns of an elevated and spiritual character 
composed by familiei^>f Rishis, or psalmists, as far back, perhaps, 
as 3000 B.C., not later than 1400 B.C. They give us the religious 
conceptions of the Ar)'ans when they crossed the Himalayas and 
began to push toward Southern Hindostan. The Sama-veda is 
a book of solemn chants and tunes. The Yajur-veda comprises 
prayers for sacrificial occasions, and inteq^retations of the same. 
The Atharva-veda shows, as might be expected of the youngest 
of the series, the influence upon the purer Aryan creed, of super- 
stitions borrowed, perhaps, from the aboriginal tribes of India. 
It contains spells for exorcising demons and placating them. 

(3) The Indian Epics of classical standing. They are the 
Mahabhlrata and the Ramayana. Scholars differ as to the chron- 
ological precedence. The Great Feud of the Bharatas has the 
air of superior antiquity because of the numerous hands and 
generations that have contributed to its composition. The Ad- 
ventures of Rama, on the other hand, recalls a more primitive 
stage of credulity, and of savage invention. The Mahabhirata is 
a storehouse of mythical tradition. It contains several well- 
rounded epic poems, the most beautiful of which is the Episode 
of Nala, — a prince who, succumbing to a weakness common to 
his contemporaries, has gambled away his kingdom. The Great 
Feud of the Bhdratas is, indeed, assigned to an author — but his 
name, Vy&sa, means simply the Arranger. The Ramiyana pur- 
ports to have been written by the poet Valmiki. It tells how Sita, 
the wife of Prince R5ma, is carried off to Ceylon by Rivana, king 




CLASSIC MYTHS I.V ENGUSH LITERATURE. 



of the demons, and how Rama, by the aid of an army of monkeys, 
bridges the straits between India and Ceylon, and slaying the 
demon, recovers his lovely and innocent wife. The resemblance 
between the plot and that of the Iliad has inchned some scholars 
to derive the Indian from the Greek epic. But, until the rela- 
tive antiquity of the poems is established, the Iliad might as well 
be derived from the Ramayana. The theory is unsubstantiated. 
These epics of India lack the artistic spirit and grace of the Iliad 
and the Odyssey, but ihey display a keener sympathy with nature 
and a more romantic appreciation of the loves and sorrows of 
mankind. 

Persian Records. — The Avesta, or Sacred Book of the ancient 
Persians, composed in the Zend language and later translated into 
mediieval Persian, — or Pahlavi, — contains the GAthis, or hymns 
of Zoroaster and his contemporaries, and scriptures of as recent 
a date as the fifth century n.c. Zoroaster, a holy man of God, was 
the founder or the reformer of the Persian religion. He lived 
as early as the fourteenth or fifteenth century u,c., and his system 
became the dominant religion of Western Asia from the lime of 
Cyrus (550 B.C.) to the conquest of Persia by .Alexander the 
Great. The teachings of Zoroaster are characterized by beautiful 
simplicity, and by an imwavering faith in the ultimate victory of 
righteousness (Ormuzd) over evil (Ahriman). 

The stories of Greek, Roman, Norse, and (Jerman mythology 
that have most influenced our English literature will follow in the 
order named. The Romans, being by nature a practical, not a 
poetic, people, incorporated in their literature the mythology of 
the Greeks. ^Vc shall, however, append to our description of the 
Greek gods a brief account of the native Latin divinities that 
retained an individuality in Roman literature. 




GHEEK MYTffS OF THE CREATION. 



37 



CHAPTER IV. 



/ 



GREEK MYTHS OF THE CREATION.' 



S 16, Origin of the World. — There were among the Greeks 
several accounts of the beginning of things. Homer tells us that 
River Ocean, a deep and mighty flood, encircling land and sea 
like a scr|>enl with its tail in its mouth, was the source of all. 
According to other myths Night and Darkness were the prime 
elements of Nature, and from them sprang Light. Still a third 
theory, attributed to Orpheus, asserts that Time was in the be- 
ginning, but had himself no beginning ; that from him proceeded 
Chaos, a yawning abyss wherein brooded Night and Mist and 
fiery air, or .^'Ether ; that Time caused the mist to spin round the 
central fiery air till the mass, assuming the form of a huge World- 
egg, flew, by reason of its rapid rotation, into halves. Of these, 
one was Heaven, the other Earth, From the centre of the egg 
proceeded Eros (I_/Ove) and other wondrous beings. 

But the most consistent account of the origin of the world and 
of the gods is given by the poet Hesiod, who tells us that Chaos^ 
the yawning abyss, composed of Void, Mass, and Darkness in 

1 Supplementary information concerning many of the myths may be found In 
Uitt comspondinf sections of the Commcniary. 



1 



CLASSIC MYTHS 2N KNGUSH UTERATVRE. 



confusion, preceded all things else. Next came into being broad- 
bosomed Earth, and beautiful Love who should rule the hearts of 
gods and men. But from Chaos itself issue<l Erebus/ the mys- 
terious darkness that is under Earth, —and Night, dwelhng in the 
remote regions of sunset. 

From Mother Earth proceeded first the starry vault of Heaven, 
durable as brass or iron, where the gods were to take up their 
abode. Earth brought forth next the mountains and fertile fields, 
the stony plains, the sea, and the plants and animals that possess 
them. 

§ 1 7. Origin of the Gods. — So far we have a hislor>* of the 
throes and changes of the physical world ; now begins the history 
of gods and of men. For in the heart of creation Love begins 
to stir, making ot material things creatures mate and female, and 
bringing them together by instinctive affinity. First Erebus and 
Night, the children of C h.ios, are wedded, and from iheni spring 
Light and Day ; then UranuB, the personified Heaven, takes Gca, 
the Earth, to wife, and from their union issue Titans and hundred- 
handed monstCR ami Cyclo|)es. 

The Titans* appear to be the personification of mighty con- 
vubioDs of the physical world, of volcanic eruptions and earth- 
quakes. They played a quarrelsome part in mythical history ; 
they were instigators of hatred and strife. Homer mentions spe- 
cially two of them, lapetus and Cronus ; but Hesio<I enumerates 
thirteen. Of these the more important are Oceanus and Tethys. 
Hyperion and Thea, Cronus and Rhea, lapetus, Themis, and 
Mnemosyne. The three Cyclopes represented the terrors of roll- 
ing thunder, of the lightning-flash, and of the thunderbolt; and, 
probably, for this reason, one fiery eye was deemed enough for 
each. The hundred-handed monsters, or Hecatonchires, were also 
three in number. In them, probably, the Greeks imaged the sea 
with its multitudinous waves, its roar, and its breakers that seem 
to shake the earth. These lightning-eyed, these hundred-handed 

I So ftLT tu possible, t^tin designations, or Latinlied forms of Greek nantes, iue 
used ■ Od tbe Titau. ei*j., Preller's Griecb. MytboL 1, 37. 




I 

I 



I 



GREEK MYTHS OF THE CREATION 



monsters, their father Uranus feared and attempted to destroy, by 
thrusting ihera into Tartarus, the profound abysm of the earth. 
Whereupon Mother Earth, or Gsea, indignant, called for help upon 
her elder children, the Titans. None dared espouse her cause 
save Cronus, the crafty. With an iron sickle he lay in wait for 
his sire, fell upon him, and drove him, grievously wounded, from 
the encounter. From the blood of the raulilaied Uranus leaped 
into being the Furies, whose heads writhe with serpents ; the Giants, 
a novel race of monsters ; and the MeHc Nymphs, invidious maidens 
of the ashen spear. 

§ tS. The Rule of Cronua. — Now follows the reign of Cronus, 
lord of Heaven and Earth. He is, from the beginning, of incal- 
culable years. In works of art his head is veiled, to typify his 
cunning and his reserve ; he bears the sickle not only as memento 
of the means by which he brought his father's tyranny to end, but 
as symbol of the new period of growth and golden harvests that 
he ushered in. 

For unknown ages Cronus and Rhea, his sister-queen, governed 
Heaven and Earth. To them were bom three daughters, Vesta, 
Ceres, and Juno, and three sons, Pluto, Neptune, and Jupiter. 
Cronus, however, having learned from his parents that he should 
be dethroned by one of his own children, conceived the well-inten- 
tioned but ill-considered device of swallowing each as it was bom. 
His queen, naturally desirous of discouraging the practice, — when 
it came to the turn of her sixth child, palmed off on the insatiable 
Cronus a stone carefully enveloped in swaddling clothes. Jupiter 
(or Zeus), the rescued infant, was concealed in the island of 
Crete, where, nurtured by the nymphs, Adrastea and Ida, and fed 
on the milk of the goat Amalthea, he in due season attained 
maturity. Then, assisted by his grandmother Gsea, he constrainctl 
Cronos to disgorge the burden of his cannibal repasts. First 
came to light the memorable stone, which was placed in safe 
keeping at Delphi ; then the five brothers and sisters of Jupiter, 
ardent to avenge themselves upon the unnatural author of iheit 
existence and their captivity. 



10 



CLASSIC MYTHS IN ENCUSH UT&RATURE. 



§ 19. The War of the Titans. — In the war which ensued 
lapetus and all the Titans, except Oceanus, ranged themselves on 
the side of their brother Cronus against Jupiter and his recendy 
recovered kinsfolk. Jupiter and his hosts held Mount Olympus. 
For ages victory wavered in the balance. Finally Jupiter, acting 
again under the advice of Ga;a, released from Tartarus, where 
Uranus had confined them, the Cyclopes and the Hecatonchires. 
Instantly they hastened to the battle-field of Thessaly, the 
Cyclopes to support Jupiter with their thunders and lightnings, 
the hundred-handed monsters with the shock of the earthquake. 
Provided with such artillery, shaking earth and sea, Jupiter issued 
to the onslaught. With the gleam of the lightning the Titans 
were blindedj by the earthquake they were laid low, with the flames 
they were well-nigh consumed : overpowered and fettered by the 
hands of the Hecatonchires, they were consigned to the yawning 
cave of Tartarus. Atlas, the son of lapetus, was doomed to bear 
the heavens on his shoulders. But a more famous son of the same 
Titan, Prometheus, who had espoused the cause of Jove, acquired 
dignity hereafter to be set forth. 

§ 20. The DlTision of Empire. — In the council of the gods 
that succeeded, Jupiter was chosen Sovereign of the World. He 
delegated to his brother Neptune (or Posidon) the kingdom of 
the sea and of all the waters ; to his brother Pluto (or Hades), the 
government of the underworld, dark, unseen, mysterious, where 
the spirits of the dead should dwell, and of Tartarus, wherein 
were held the fallen Titans. For himself Jupiter retained Earth 
and the Heaven, into whose broad and sunny regions towered 
Olympus, the favored mountain of the greater gods.' 

§ 31. The Reig^n of Jupiter. — New conflicts, however^ awaited 
this new dynasty of Heaven — conflicts, the subject of many a 
tale among the ancients. Gsea, though she had aided her grand- 
son Jupiter in the war agaipst Cronus, was soon seized with com- 
punctions of conscience; and contemplating the cruel fate of her 

1 On signification of Unmiu, Cronus, Zeus, see Preller, I. ^7, 38, and Coromen. 
«rj. \h «7. 33- 




GXhJLA' jiiy///:> oy thl. {jkeai20.\ 



sons the Titans, she conceived schemes of vengeance upon their 
conqueror. Another son was bom to her — Typhon, a monster 
more awful than his predecessors — whose destiny it was to dis- 
pute the sway of the almighty Zeus. From the neck of Typhon 
dispread themselves a hundred dragon-heads ; his eyes shot fire, 
and from his black-tongued chaps proceeded the hissing of snakes, 
the bellowing of bulls, the roaring of lions, the barking of dogs, 
pipings and screams, and, at times, the voice 
and utterance of the gods themselves. Against 
Heaven this horror lifted himself; but quail- 
ing before the thunderbolt of Jove, he too 
descended to Tartarus, 
his own place and the 
alx>de of his brethren- 
To this day, however, 
he grumbles and hisses, 
thrusts upward a fiery 
tongue through the cra- 
ter of a volcano, or, 
breathing siroccos, 
scorches trees and men. 
^ Later still, the Glanta, 

offspring of the blood 
that fell from the wound- 
ed Uranus, renewed the 
re\'olt against the Olym- 
pian gods. They were creatures nearer akin to men than were the 
Tiuns, or the Cyclopes, or Typhon. They clothed themselves in 
the skins of beasts, and armed themselves with rocks and trunks of 
trees. Their bodies and lower limbs were of snakes. They were 
awful to encounter or to look upon. They were named, like men, 
the earth-born; and their characteristics would suggest some pre- 
historic brutish race, hot-headed, not amenable to reason.* Of the 
Giants the more mighty were Alcyoneus of the winter storms and 
1 Rotcher: Aiul Lex., Article GigoHttn [J. llb«rg]. 




42 



ClASS/C MYTHS /AT ENGLISH LITSRATURk. 



icebergs, Pallas, antt Enceladus, and Porphyrion the fire-king, — 
leader of the crew. In the war againsl them. Juno and Minerva, 
divinities of the new dynasty of Heaven, took active part, — and 
Hercules, an earthly son of Jupiter, whose arrows aided in their 

defeat. It was from the 
overthrow of Pallas that 
Athene (or Miner\'a) 
derived, according to 
certain records, her 
p roil d designation of 
\i ^(Si^^£ y ^A.^/j^l@\/ Pallas-Athene.' In due 

course, like the Titans 
and Typhon, the Giants 
were buried in the abyss 
of eternal darkness. 
What other tnitcoine can be expected when mere physical or 
brute force joins issue with the enlightened and embattled hosts 
of heaven? 

§ 3 2. The Origin of Man was a question which the Greeks did 
not settle so easily as the Hebrews. Greek traditions do not trace 
all mankind to an original pair. On the contrary, the generally 
received opinion was that men grew out of trees and stones, or 
were produced by the rivers or the sea. Some said that men and 
gods were both derived from Mother Earth, hence both autoctho- 
nousi and some, indeed, claimed nn antiquity for the human race 
equal to thai of the divinities. .Ml narratives, however, agree in 
one statement, — thai the gods maintained intimate relations with 
men until, because of the growing sinfulness and arrogance of 
mankind, it became necessary for the immortals to withdraw their 
favor. 

Prometheus, a Creator. — There is a story which attributes the 

making of man to Prometheus, whose father lapetus had, with 

Cronus, opposed the sovereignty oi Jupiter. In that conflict, 

Prometheus, gifted with prophetic wisdom, had adopted the cause 

1 The Dame more probably signifies BrandhheT [of the Lance]. 




I 



CREEK MYTHS OF THE CREATION. 



43 



of the Olympian deities. To him and his brother Epimetheus was 
now committed the office of making man and providing him and 
ail other animals with the faculties necessary for their preservation. 
Prometheus was to overlook the work of Epimetheus. Epimetheus 
proceeded to bestow upon the different animals the various gifts 
of courage, strength, swiftness, sagacity ; wings to one. claws to 
another, a shelly covering to a third. But Prometheus himself 
made a nobler animal than these. Taking some earth and knead- 
ing it with water, he made man in the image of the gods. He 
gave him an upright stature, so that while other animals turn 
their faces toward the earlh, man gazes on the stars. Then since 
Epimetheus, always rash, and thoughtful when too late, had been 
so prodigal of his gifts to other animals that no blessing was left 
worth conferring upon the noblest of creatures, Prometheus as- 
cended to heaven, lighted his torch at the chariot of the sun, and 
brought down fire. With fire in his possession man would be 
able, when necessary, to win her secrets and treasures from the 
earth, to develop commerce, science, and the arts. 

% 23. The Age of Gold. — Whether in this or in other ways the 
world was furnished with inhabitants, the first age was an age of 
innocence and happiness. Truth and right prevailed, though not 
enforced by law, nor was there any in authority to threaten or to 
punish. The forest had not yet been robbed of its trees to yield 
timbers for vessels, nor had men built fortifications round their 
towns. There were no such things as swords, spears, or helmets. 
The earth brought forth all things necessary for man, without his 
labor in ploughing or sowing. Perpetual spring reigned, flowers 
sprang up without seed, the rivers flowed with milk and wine, and 
yellow honey distilled from the oaks. This Golden Age had 
begun in the reign of Cronus.' And when these heroes fell asleep 
in death, they were translated in a pleasant dream to a spiritual 
existence, in which, unseen by mortal eyes, they still attended 
men as monitors and guardians. 

1 Consequently the creation of these men could not be assigned 10 Promethem. 
— unless they were made by him before the war of the Tiuos. 




44 



CLASSIC MYTHS IN ENCUSH LITERATUR&^ 



§ 24. The Silver Age came next, inferior to the golden. Jupiter 
shortened the spring, and divided the year into seasons. Then, 
firsts men suffered the extremes of heat and cold, and houses be- 
came necessary. Caves were their dwellings, — and leafy coverts 
of the woods, and huts woven of lw*igs. Crops would no Kinger 
grow without planting. The fanner was constrained to sow the 
seed, and the ox to draw the plough. This was a race of manly 
men, but insolent and impious. And when they died, Jupiter 
made them ghosts of the underworld, but withheld the privilege 
of immortal life. 

§ 25. Prometheus, Champion of Man, — During this age when, 
as Hesiod says, the altars of the blessed were neglected, and the 
gods were denied their due, Prometheus stood forth — the cham- 
pion of man against the Olympians.' For the son of Cronus had 
grudged mort^ils the use of fire, and was, in fact, contemplating 
their annihilation and the creation of a new race. Therefore, 
once upon a time, when gods and men were in dispute at Sicyon 
concerning the prerogatives of each, Prometheus, by an ingenious 
trick, attempted to settle the question in favor of man. Dividing 
into two portions a sacrificial bull, he wrapped all the eatable parts 
in the skin, cunningly surmounted with uninviting entrails j but the 
bones he garnished with a plausible mass of fat. He then olTered 
Jupiter his choice. The king of Heavenj although he perceived 
the intended fraud, took the heap of bones and fat, and, forthwith 
availing himself of this insult as an excuse for punishing mankind, 
deprived the race of fire. But Prometheus regained the treasure, 
stealing it from Heaven in a hollow lube. 

Pandora. — Doubly enraged, Jupiter, in his turn, had recourse 
to stratagem. He is declared to have planned for man a curse 
in the shape of woman. How the race had persisted hitherto 
without woman is a mystery; but that it had done so, with no 
slight degree of happiness, the experience of the Golden Age 
would seem to prove. However, the bewitching evil was fash- 

^ There \% uncertainty as h> the ravlhical period of these events. The order ha« 
given fteems to me well grounded. Hes. Works and Days, tSo; Theog.. 790-910. 




GREEK MYTHS OF THE CREATION. 



ioned, — in Heaven, properly enough, — and every god and god- 
dess contributed something to her perfection. One gave her 
beauty, another persuasive charm, a third the faculty of music. 
And they named her Pandora, " the gift of all the gods." Thus 
equipped, she was conveyed to earth, and presented to Epime- 
theus, who, without hesitation, accepted the gift, though cautioned 
by his brother to beware of Jupiter and all his ways. And the 
caution was not groundless. In the hand of Pandora had been 
placed by the immortals a casket or vase which she was forbidden 
to open. Overcome by an unaccountable curiosity to know what 
this vessel contained, she one day lifted the cover and looked in, 
Forthwidi there escaped a multitude of plagues for hapless man 

— gout, rheumatism, and colic for his body; envy, spite, and 
revenge for his mind — and scattered themselves far and wide. 
Pandora hastened to replace the lid ; but one thing only remained 
in the casket, and that was hope. 

Because of his unselfish devotion to the cause of humanity, 
Prometheus drew down on himself the anger of Olympian Jove, 
by whose order he was chained to a rock on Mount Caucasus, and 
subjected to the attack of a vulture which, for ages, preyed upon 
his liver, yet succeeded not in consuming it. This state of tor- 
ment might have been brought to an end at any time by Prome- 
theus, if he had been willing to submit to his oppressor; for he 
possessed a secret which involved the stabiHty of Jove's throne. 
But to reveal his secret he disdained. In this steadfastness he 
was supported by the knowledge that in the thirteenth genera- 
tion there should arrive a hero, — a son of the mighty Jove 

— to release him.^ By his demeanor Prometheus has become 
the ensample of magnanimous endurance, and of resistance to 
oppression. 

"Titan! to whose immortal eyes 
The sufferings of mortiility, 
Seen in their sad reality. 
Were not as things that gods despise, 



1 See Commenury. \ 25. 





CLASSIC MYTHS fJV ENGUSH LITERATURE. 

Whal was thy pity's rccompciiK? 
A silent sutTering, and intense; 
The rock, the vulture, and the chaio. 
All that the proud cau feel of pain. 
The agony they do not show, 
The suffocating sense of woe. 
Which speaks but in ils loneliness. 
And then is jealous lest the sky 
Should have a listener, nor will sigh 
Until its voice is echoless. . . 

"Thy godlike crime was to be kind. 
To render with thy precepts less 
The sum of humait wretchedness. 

And strengthen man with his own mind 

Bat, baffled as thou tvert from high, 

Stilt, in thy patient energy, 

In the endurance and repulse 
Of thine impenetrable spirit. 

Which earth and heaven cuuld not convulse, 
A might)' lesson we inherit."' . . . 



§ 16. A happy application of the story of Prometheus is made 
by Longfellow in the following verses : * — 

"OF Prometheus, how nndaonted 

On Olympus' shining bastions 
His audacious foot he planted. 
Myths are told, and songs are chanted. 

Full of promptings and suggestions. 

** Beautiful is the tradition 

Of that flight through heavenly portals. 
The old classic superstition 
Of the theft and the transmission 
Of the fire of the Immortals! 

" First the deed of noble daring, 
Born of heavenward aspiration, 

1 From Bvron's Prometheus. See also his translation from the Promtihnu 
Vinclui of ^ftchylus, and his Ode to Nnpoleon Buonaparte. 
^ Prometheus, or The Poet's Forethought See Commentary. \ 36. 



CXE&K MYTHS OF THE CJi&ATJO^'. 



Then the fire with mortals sharing. 

Then the vnlture, — the despairing 

Cry of pain oo crags Caucasian. 

"All is but a symbol painted 
Of Ihc Poet, Prophet, Seer; 
Only those arc crowned and sainted 
Who with grief have been acquainted. 
Making nations nobler, freer. 

** In their feverish exultations, 

In their triumph and their yearning, 
In their passionate pulsations. 
In their wonls among the nations. 
The Promethean fire is burning. 

** Shall it, then, be unavailing. 

All this toil for human culture? 
Through the cloud-racU, dark and trailing. 
Most they see above them sailing 
0*er life's barren crags the vulture? 

**Such a fate as this was Dante's. 
By defeat and exile maddened ; 
Thus were Milton and Cervantes, 
Nature's priests and Corybantes, 
By affliction touched and saddened. 

" Bat the glories vt transcendent 

That around their memories cluster. 
And, on all their steps attendant. 
Make their darkened lives resplendent 
With such gleams nf inward lustre ! 

"All the melodies mysterious. 

Through the dreary darkness chanted; 
Thoughts in attitudes impenous, 
Voices soft, and deep, and serious. 

Words that whispered, songs that haunted! 

"All the soul in rapt suspension, 

All the quivering, palpitating 
Chords of life in utmost tension, 
With the fervor of invention, 

With the rapture of creating] 



CLASSIC MYTHS IS ENGLISH LITERATVRJL 



" Ah, Prometheus ! heaven -scaling 1 

In such hours of exultation 
Even the faintest heart, unquailing, 
Might behold tlie vulture sailing 

Round the cloudy crags Caucasian! 

"Though to all there is not given 

Strength for such sublime endeavor, 
Thus to scale the walls of heaven. 
And to leaven with fiery leaven 
AU the hearts of men forever; 

"Yet all bards, whose hearts unblighted 

Honor and believe the presage. 
Hold aloft their torches lighted. 
Gleaming through the realms benighted, 

As they onward bear the roeiaage ! " 

§ 27. Next to the Age of Silver came the Brazen Age,' more 
savage of temper and readier for the strife of arms, yet not 
altogether wicked. 

§ 28. Last came the hardest age and worst, the Age of Iron. 
Crime burst in like a flood ; modesty, truth, ami honor fled. The 
gifts of the earth were put only to nefarious uses. Fraud, vio- 
lence, war at home and abroad were rife. The world was wet with 
slaughter; and the gods, one by one, abandoned it, Aslraea, fol- 
lowing last, goddess of innocence and purity. 

The Flood. — Jupiter, observing the condition of things, burned 
with anger. lie summoned the gods to council. Obeying the 
call, they travelled the Milky Way to the palace of Heaven. 
There, Jupiter set forth to the assembly the frightful condition of 
the earth, and announced his intention of destroying its inhabit- 
ants, and providing a new race, unlike the present, which should 
be worthier of life, and more reverent toward the gods. Fearing 
lest a conflagration might set Heaven itself on fire, he proceeded 
to drown the world. Not satisfied with his own waters, he called 
his brother Neptune to his aid. Speedily the race of men, and 
their possessions, were swept away by the deluge. 

1 Compare Byron's political satire. The Age of Bronze. 



GREEK MYTHS OF THE CREATION, 



49 



§ 39. Deucalion and Pyrrha. — Pamassus alone, of the moun- 
tains, overtopped the waves ; and there Deucalion, son of Pro- 
naetheus, and his wife Pyrrha, daughter of Epimetheus, found 
refuge — he a just man and she a faithful worshipper of the gods. 
Jupiter, remembering the harmless lives and pious demeanor of 
this pair, caused the waters to recede, — the sea to return to its 
shores, and the rivers to their channels. Then Deucalion and 
Pvrrha, entering a temple, defaced with shme, approached the 
unkindled altar, and, failing prostrate, prayed for guidance and 
aid. The oracle * answered, " Depart from the temple with head 
veiled and garments unbound, and cast behind you the bones of 
your mother." They heard the words with astonishment. Pyrrha 
first broke silence : " We cannot obey \ we dare not profane the 
remains of our parents." They sought the woods, and revolved 
the oracle in their minds. At last Deucalion spoke : " Either my 
wit fails me, or the command is one we may obey without impiety. 
The earth is the great parent of all ; the stones are her bones ; 
these we may cast behind us; this, I think, the oracle means. At 
least, to try will harm us not." They veiled their faces, unbound 
their garments, and, picking up stones, cast them behind them. 
The stones began to grow soft, and to assume shape. By degrees, 
they put on a rude resemblance to the human form. Those thrown 
by Deucalion became men ; tliose by Pyrrha, women. It was a 
hard race that sprang up, and well adapted to labor. 

g 30. The Demigods and Heroes. — As preceding the Age of 
Iron, Hesiod mentions an //i.r of Demigods ami Herors, Since, 
however, these demigods and heroes were, many of them, reputed 
to have been directly descended from Deucalion, their epoch must 
be regarded as subsequent to the deluge. The hero, Hcllen» son 
of Deucalion and Pyrrha, became the ancestor of the Hellenes or 
Greeks. The --Eolians and Dorians were, according to legend, 
descended from his sons --tluUis and Dorus ; from his son Xuthus, 
the Achseans and lonians derived their origin. 

Another great division of the Greek people, the Pelasgic, resi- 
1 Oracles, sec \\ 33. 38, and Commenlary. 




50 



CLASSrC MYTHS AV El^GLTSH UTERATURE. 



dent in the Peloponnesus or southern portion of the peninsnla, 
was said to have sprung from a different stock of heroes, that of 
Pelasgus, son of Phoroneus of Argos, and grandson of the river- 
god Inachus. 

The demigods and heroes were of matchless worth and valor. 
Their adventures form the subject of many of the succeeding 
chapters. They were the chieftains of the Theban and the Trojan 
wars and of numerous other military or predatory expeditions. 



Since most of the myths in Chapters IV to XX\'II are best 
known to English poetry in their I>atin form, the Latin designa- 
tions, or Latinized forms of Greek names, have been retained; 
but, for the poetic conception of all these stories, except such 
as are contained in Sections 55, 56, 98 and 124, we are in- 
debted not to the Roman but the Trreek imagination. 




ATTRIBUTES OF THE GODS OF HEAVEN, 



61 



CHAPTER V. 

ATTRIBUTES OF THE GODS OF HEAVEN.* 

§ 31. Olympus. — The heaven of the Greek gods was the 
summit of an ideal mountain called Olympus.' A gate of clouds, 
kept by goddesses, the Hours or Seasons, opened to permit the 
passage of the Celestials to earth, and to 
receive them on their return. The gods 
had their separate dwellings ; but all, when 
summoned, repaired to the palace of Jupi- 
ter, — even the deities whose usual abode 
was the eanh, the waters, or the under- 
world. In the great hall of the Olympian 
king the gods feasted each day on ambrosia 
and nectar. Here they conversed of the ai 
fairs of heaven and earth ; and as they quaffed 
the nectar that Hebe poured, Apollo made 
melody with his lyre, and the Muses sang 
in responsive strain. When the sun was set, 
the gods withdrew to their respective dwellings for the night. 

The following lines from the Odyssey express the conception 
of Olympus entertained by Homer : — 

••So saying. Minerva, Ko<1Hes!i, aiarc-cyed. 
Rose to Olympus, the rt-putetl seat 
Eternal of the gods, which never storms 
Disturb, rains drench, or mow invades, but calm 
The expanse and cloudless shines with purest day. 
There the tnhabitanis divine rejoice 
Forever" • 

I Consult, in general, corresponding sections of the Commentary. 

• Symbotiied on mth by Mt. Olympus in Thewily. • Cowper's translation. 





52 CLASSIC MYTHS AV ENGUSH UTEHATURE, 

J 32. TheGxeatGoda.^ The gods of Heaven were the following ;^ 

Jupiter (Zeus).'' 

His daughter, Minen'a (Athene), who sprang from his brain* full-grown 
and full-armed. 

Hi6 sister and wife, Jano (Hera), 

Ilis children by Juno, — Mars (Area), Vulcan (FlephoMtus), and Hebe. 

His children by I^tuna, — Apollo, or Phabus, and Diana (Artemis). 

Mis Hau};htcr by Dionc, — Venus (Aphrodite).' 

His son by Mail, — Mercury ( Herines). 

His sister, Vesta (Hestia), the oldest born of Cronus and Rhea. 

Of these all were deities of the highest order save Hebe, who 
must be ranked wiih Lhe lesser gods. W ith the remaining ten 
" Great Gods " are somerimes reckoned the other sister of Jupiter, 
Ceres (Demeler), properly a divinity of earth, and Neptune 
(Posidon), niler of the sea. 

I 33. Jupiter* (Zeus). — The Greek name signifies the radiant 
light of heaven. Jupiter was the supreme ruler of lhe universe, 
wisest of the divinities and most glorious. In the Iliad he 
informs the other gods that their united strength would not budge 
him ; that, on the contrar)". he could draw them, and earth, and 
the seas to hiinself, and suspend all from Olympus by a golden 
chain. Throned in thu high, clear heavens, Jupiter was the gath- 
erer of clouds and snows, the dispenser of gentle rains and winds, 
the mo<lerator of light and heat and the seasons, the thundercr, 
the wielder of the thunderbolt. Uodily strength and valor were 
dear to him. He was worshipped with various rites in different 
lands, and to him were sacred ever}'where the loftiest trees and 
the grandest mountain peaks. He required of his worshippers 
cleanhncss of surroundings and person ami heart. Justice was 
his; his to repay violation of duty in the family, iti social rela- 
tions, and in the state. Prophecy was his ; and his will was made 
known at the oracle of Dodona, where answers were given to those 

I See Commentary, \ 32, for Gladstone's latest utterance on the number of the 
Olympians. 

'The n.tmes included in parentheses are dlsUnciively Greek, the others being 
Roman equivalents, Larin names, or names common to both Greek and Roman 
usage. * See Commentary. {40. * On the Latin n,tme, see Commentary. \ 33. 



ATTRIBUTES OP THE GODS OF HEAVEN. SS 

who inquired concerning the future. This oracular shrine was the 
most ancient in Greece. According to one account two black 
doves had taken wing from Thebes in Egypt. One flew to 
Dodona in Epirus, and, alighting in a grove of oaks, proclaimed 
to the inhabitants of the district that they should establish there 
an oracle of Jupiter. The other dove flew to the temple of Jupiter 
Ammon in the Libyan oasis, and delivered a similar command. 
According to another account these were not doves, but priest- 
esses, who, carried off from Thebes by the Phoenicians, set up 
oracles at Oasis and Dodona. The responses of the oracle were 
given by the rustling of the oak trees in the wind. The sounds 
were interpreted by priests. 

That Jupiter himself, though wedded to the goddess Juno, 
should be charged with numerous other love affairs, not only in 
respect of goddesses, but of mortals, is, in part, explained by the 
fact that to the supreme divinity of the Greeks have been ascribed 
attributes and adventures of numerous local, and foreign, divinities 
that were gradually identified with him. It is, therefore, not wise 
to assume that the love affairs of Jupiter and of other divinities 
always symbolize combinations of natural or physical forces that 
have repeated themselves in ever-varying guise. It is important to 
understand that the more ideal Olympian religion absorbed fea- 
tures of inferior religions, and that Jupiter, when represented as 
appropriating the characteristics of other gods, was sometimes, 
also, accredited with their wives. 

Beside the children of Jupiter already enumerated, there should 
here be mentioned, as of peculiar consequence, Bacchus (Diony- 
sus), the god of wine, a deity of earth, — Proserpine, the wife of 
Pluto and queen of the underworld, — and Hercules, the greatest 
of the heroes. 

Conceptions of Jupiter. — The Greeks usually conceived the 
Jupiter of war as riding in his thunder-car, hurling the thunder- 
bolt ur lashing his enemies with a scourge of lightning. He wore 
a breastplate or shield of storm-cloud like the skin of a gray goat 
(the ^ff's), fearful to behold, and made by the god of fire. His 
special messenger was the eagle. It was, however, only with the 




54 



ClASSfC MYTHS IN ENGUSH IJTERATURE. 



passage of generations that the Greeks came to represent their 
greatest of the gods by the works of men's hands. The 
statue of Olympian Jove by Phidias was con- 
sidereH the highest achievement of Grecian 
sculpture. It was of colossal dimensions, 
and, like other statues of the period, "chrys- 
elephantine " \ that is, composed of 
ivory and gold. For the parts repre- f 
senting flesh were of ivor)' laid on 
a frame- work of wood, while the 
drapery and ornaments were of gold. 
The height of the figure was forty 
feel ; the pedestal twelve feet 
high, The god was represented 
as seated on his throne. His 
blows were crowned with a 
wreath of olive ; he held in his 
right hand a sceptre, and in his 
left a statue of Victory. The throne was of cedar, adorned with 
gold and precious stones. 

The idea which the artist essayed to embo(iy was that of the 
supreme deity of the Hellenic nation, enthroned as a conqueror, 
in perfect majesty and repose, and ruling with a nod the subject 
world. Phidias informs us that the idea was suggested by Ho- 
mer's lines in the first book of the Iliad : — 

"Jove said, and nodded with his shadowy brows; 
Waved on th' immortal head th' ambrosial locks, — 
And all Olympus trembled at his nod."' 

Unfortunately, our knowledge of this famous statue is confined to 
literary descriptions, and to copies on coins. Other representa- 
tions of Jove, such as that given above, have been obtained from 
the wall-paintings of Herculaneum and Pompeii. 

§ 34. Juno' (Hera), sister and wife of Jupiter. According to 
some, her name (Hera) means Splendor of Heaven, according to 




> Iliad 1 . 633-635, ^vl ^' Derby's transtatioo. See also the passage id Chap- 
man's Innslation. 



ATTRIBUTES OF THE CODS OF HEAVBff. 



55 



^^^t 



others^ the Lady. Some think it approve3 her goddess of earth ; 
others, goddess of the air; still others, for reasons by no means 
final, say that it signifies Protectress, and applies to Juno in her 
original function of moon-goddess, the chosen guardian of women, 
their aid in seasons of distress. Juno's union with Jupiter was the 
prototype of earthly marriages. 
She is the type of matronly virtues 
and dignity. 

She was the daughter of Cro- 
nus and Rhea, but was brought 
up by Oceanus and Tethys, in 
their dwelUng in the remote west 
beyond the sea. Without the 
knowledge of her parents, she was 
wedded to Jupiter in this gar- 
den of the gods where ambrosial 
rivers flowed, and where Earth 
sent up in honor of the rite a tree 
of life, heavy with apples golden 
like the sunset. Juno was the 
most worthy of the goddesses, 
the most queenly; ox-eyed, says 
Homer ; says Hesiod, golden- 
sandalled and golden-throned. Glorious, beyond compare, was 
her presence, when she had harnessed her horses, and driven 
forth the golden-wheeled chariot that Hebe made ready, and that 
the Hours set aside. Fearful, too, could be her wrath. For 
she was of a jealous disposition, which was not happily affected 
by the vagaries of her spouse ; and she was, moreover, prone 
to quarrels, self-willed, vengeful, proud, even on occasion deceit- 
fial. Once, indeed, she conspired with Minerva and Neptune to 
bind the cloud-compeller himself. More than once she provoked 
him to blows ; and once to worse than blows, — for her lord and 
master swung her aloft in the clouds, securing her wrists in 
golden handcuffs, and hanging anvils to her feet. 

1 On the name Jmw. i«c ComnienUry. ^ 34. 



Si/i 



56 



CLASSIC MYTHS /,V ENGUSH UTERATURE. 



K 



The cities that the ox-eyed goddess favored were Argos, Sparta, 
and Mycenae. To her the peacock and the cow were dear, and 
many a grove and pasture rejoiced her 
sacred herds. 

§ 35. Minerva (Athene), the virgin- 
goddess. She sprang from the brain of 
Jove, agleam with panoply of war, bran- 
dishing a spear, and with her baiile- 
cry awakening the echoes of heaven 
and earth. She is goddess of the light- 
i^-s*- ning that leaps like a lance from the 

V'l'^ .* cloud-heavy sky, and hence, probably, the 

name, Athene} She is goddess of the 
storms and of the rushing thunder-bolt, 
and is, therefore, styled Pallas. She is 
the goddess of the thunder-cloud, which 
is symbolized by her tasselled breast-plate of goat-skin, the agit^ 
whereon is fixed the head of Medusa, the Gorgon, that turns 
to stone all beholders. She is also 
the goddess of war, rejoicing in martial 
music, and protecting the war-horse and 
the war-ship. On the other hand, she 
is of a gentle, fair, and thoughtful as- 
pect. Her I^alin name, Minerva^ is con- 
nected with the Sanskrit, Greek, and 
Latin words for mimi. She is eternally 
a virgin, the goddess of wisdom, of skill, 
of contemplation, of spinning and weav- 
ing, of horticulture and agriculture. She 
is protectress of cities, and was specially 
worshipped in her own Athens, in Argos, 
in Sparta, and in Troy. To her were 
sacrificed oxen and cows. The olive- 
tree, created by her, was sacred to her, and, also, the owl, the 
cock, the serpent, and the crow. 

* For the names. Athtne and Mimfrrm, %ct Commeniary. 



58 



Cl^SSfC MYTHS tN ENGUSff UTERATURR. 



who, impelled by rage and last of violence, exults in the noise 
of battle, revels in the horror of carnage. Strife and slaughter 
are the condition of his existence. Where the fight is thickest, 
there he rushes in without hesitation, without question as to which 
side is right. In battle-array, he is resplendent, — on his head 
the gleaming helmet and floating plume, on his arm the leathern 
shield, in his hand the redoubtable spear of bronze. Well-favored, 
stately, swift, unwearied, puissant, gigantic, he is still the foe of 
wisdom, the scourge of mortals. Usually he fights on fool, some- 
times from a chariot drawn by four horses — the offspring of the 
North Wind and a Fury. In the fiay his sons attend him — Terror, 
Trembling, Panic, and Fear, —also his sister Ens, or Discord (the 
mother of Strife), his daughter Enyo, ruiner of cities, — and a 
retinue of blood-thirsty demons. .As tj'pifying the chances of war, 
Mars is, of course, not always successful. In the battles before 
Troy, Minerva and Juno bring him more than once to grief; and 
when he complains to Jupiter, he is snubbed as a renegade most 
hateful of all the gods.' His loved one and mistress is the goddess 
of beauty herself. In her arms the warrior finds repose. Their 
daughter Harmonia is the ancestress of the .unquiet dynasty of 
Thebes. The favorite land of Mars was, according to Homer, 
the rough, northerly Thrace. His emblems are the spear and the 
burning torch ; his chosen animals are haunters of the battle-field, 
— the vulture and the dog. 

§ 37. Vulcan (HephsBtns), son of Jupiter and Juno, was the 
god of fire, especially of terrestrial fire, — volcanic eruption, incen- 
diary flame, the glow of the forge or the hearth. But as the fires 
of earth are derived from that of heaven, perhaps the name, 
Hephastus (burning, shining, flaming), referred originally to the 
mar\'ellous brilliance of the lightning. Vulcan was the blacksmith 
of the gods, the finest artificer in metal among them. His forge 
in Olympus was furnished not only with anvils and all other imple- 
ments of the trade, but with automatic handmaidens of silver and 
gold, fashioned by Vulcan himself. Poets later than Homer assign 
1 Iliad, 5:590. See also 21:395. 



J 



If 




I 
I 

I 

I 

I 




ATTRIBUTES OF THE GODS OF HEAVEt^. 



to Vulcan workshops under various volcanic islands. From the cra- 
ter of Mount M\x^2, poureti forth the fumes and Oames of his smithy. 
He buiJt the dwellings of the gods ; he made the sceptre of Jove, 
the shields and spears of the Olympians, the arrows 
of Apollo and Diana, the breastplate of Hercules, 
the shield of Achilles. 

He was lame of gait, — a figurative suggestion, 
perhaps, of the flickering, unsteady nature of fire. 
According to his own story,* he was bom halt ; and 
his mother, chagrined by his deformity, cast him 
from Heaven out of the sight of the gods. Vet. 
again,^ he says that, attempting once to save his 
mother from Jupiter's wrath, he was caught by the 
fool and hurled by the son of Cronus from the 
heavenly threshold : *' All day I flew ; and at the 
set of sun 1 fell in Lemnos, and little life was left 
in me." Had he not been lame before, he had 
good reason to limp after either of these catastrophes. He took 
part in the making of the human race, and in the special 
creation of Pandora. He assisted also at the birth of Mi- 
nerva, to facilitate which he split Jupiter's head open with an 
axe. 

His wife, according to the Iliad and Hcsiod's Theogony. is 
Aglaia, the youngest of the Ciraces ; but in the Odyssey it is Venus, 
He is a glorious, good-natured god, loved and honored nmong 
men as the founder of wise customs and the patron of artificers ; 
on occasion, as a god of healing and of prophecy. He seems to 
have been, when he chose, the cause of "inextinguishable laughter" 
to the gods, but he was by no means a fool. The famous god 
of the strong arms could be cunning, even vengeful, when the 
emergency demanded. 

§ 38. Apollo, or Phoebus Apollo, the son of Jupiter and Latona, 
was preeminently the god of the sun. His name Photbus sign! 
fies the radiant nature of the sunlight ; his name Apciio, perhaps, 

1 Iliad. 18 : y^s. * tlUd, i : 39a 




ClASS/f MYTHS /A' BNGLISH UTUHATVHS. 

the cruel and destructive heat of noonday. Soon after his birth. 
Jupiter would have sent him to Delphi to inculcate righteousness 

and justice among the 
(ireeks; but the golden 
god Apollo chose first to 
spend a year in the land 
of the Hyperboreans, 
where for six continuous 
months of the year there 
is sunshine and spring, 
soft climate, profusion of 
herbs and flowers, and 
the very ecstasy of life. 
During this delay the 
Dclphians sang paeans, — 
hymns of praise, — and 
danced in chorus about 
the iripixl (or three-leg- 
ged stool ) , where the ex- 
pectant priestess of Apollo 
had taken her seat. At 
last, when the year was 
warm, came the god in 
his chariot drawn by 
swans, — heralded by 
songs of springtide, of nightingales and swallows and crickets. 
Then the crystal fount of Castalia and the stream Cephissus over- 
flowed their bounds, and mankind made grateful offerings to the 
god. But his advent was not altogether peaceful. An enor- 
mous serpent, Python, had crept forth from the slime with 
which, after the flood, the Karth was covered ; and in the 
caves of Mount Parnassus this terror of the people lurked. 
Him Apollo encountered, and after fearful combat slew, with 
arrows, weapons which the god of the silver bow had not before 
used against any but feeble animals, — hares, wild goats, and such 








ATTRiBUT&S OF THE CODS OF HEAVES. 



game. In commeiDoration of this illustrious conquest, he insti- 
tuted the Pythian games, in which the victor in feats of strength, 
swiftness of foot, or in the chariot race, should be crowned with a 
B' wreath of beech-leaves. Apollo brought not only the warm spring 
and summer, but also the blessings of the harvest. He warded ofl 
the dangers and diseases of summer ai\d autumn ; and he healed 
the sick. He was patron of music and of poetry. Through his 
oracle at Delphi, on the slopes of Parnassus in Phocis, the Pythian 
god made known the future to those who consulted him. He was 
H a founder of cities, a promoter of colonization, a giver of good 
" laws, the ideal of fair and manly youth, — a pure and just god, 
requiring clean hands and pure hearts of those that worshipped 
him. But though a god of life anc! peace, the far-darter did not 

■ shun the weapons of war. When presumption was to be punished, 
or wrong righted, he could bend his bow, and slay with the arrows 
of his sunlight. As in the days of his youth he slew the Python, 

• so, also, he slew the froward Tityus, and so the children of Niobc. 
While Pt uebus Apollo is the Olympian divinity of the sun , fraught 
wi th light anil healing, spirituaL cren tive.and prophetic, h e miia Laot 
be confounded wiihja ^od of the oUler dynasty . Helios (offspring 
W -of Hyperion , Titanic deity of light ), who represented the sun in 
its daily and yearly course, i n^ its physical rather than spiritua l 
manifestaUo n. I'he bow of ApoUo was boum f wirh ^;irf| ni mpm- 
^ry of Daphne , > yhom he love d. To him were sacred, also, many 
creatures. — th e wol f, th e roe , the mouse , th e he-goa t, the ram, 
th e dolp hin, and the swan.' 

1^« On the birth of Apollo, his adventures, njime^. festivals, omelet, and his place 
m literature and an. see Commcnlary. For other particulars, see sections on Myths 
of Afi^Uo. 

« Hynn of Apollo, by P. B. Sh«lley. 



The sleepless Houis who wmtch me u I lie,^ 
Curtained with star-inwoven tapottriea. 





CLASSIC MYTHS m ENGUSH UTERATURE, 

From the broaj ini>onlight of the sky. 

Fanning the busy dreams from my dim cyca, — 
Waken ine when their niuther, the gray Dawn. 
Telia them that dreams and that the moon is gone. 



ff;^ 



"Then I arise, and cHmhing Heaven'i 
blue di>me, 
I walk over the muuntains and the 
waves, 
leaving my robe upon the ocean foam: 
My footsteps pave the clouds with 
fire ; the caves 
Are 611cd with my bright presence, and 

the air 
Leaves the green earth tu my embraces 
bare. 



X^ 



y 



L>^ 



*' The sunbeams are my shafts, with which 
I kill 
Deceit, that loves the night and fears 
the day;' 
All men who do or even imagine ill 

Hy me, and from the glory of my ray 
Ciood minds and open actions take new 

might, 
Until diminished by the reign of night 



**I feed the clouds, the rainbows, and the fluwcrs 
With their ethereal colors; the moon's globe 
And the pure stars in their etental lx)\vers 

Are cinctured with my power as with a robe; 
Whatever lamps on Earth or Heaven may shine. 
Are portions of one power, which is mine. 



"I stand at noon upon the peak uf Heaven, 
Then with unwilling steps I wander down 
Into the clouds of the Atlantic even; 

For grief that I depart they weep and frown: 
What look is more delightful than the smite 
With which I soothe them from the western isJe? 




ATTJilBUTBS OF THE CODS OF HEAVEtf. 



ti 



1 



** I am the eye with which the nnivcne 
Bchuldfl itself and knows itself rlivine; 
All hannuny uf instrument or verse, 

All prophecy, all medicine, arc mine. 
All light of art or nature; — to my song. 
Victory and praise in their uwn right belong." 

S 39. Diana (ArtemU), twin sister of Apollti, bom on Mount 
Cynthus, in the island of Delos. l^tona^ the ftiture mother o( 
Diana ami Apollo, living from the wrath of Juno, had besought, 
one after another, the islands of the .^^gean to afford her a place 
of rest; but they feared too much the potent cjueen of heaven, 
Delos alone consented to become the birthplace of the future 
deities. This isle was then floating and unstable ; but on Latona'i 
arrival, Jupiter fastened it with adaman- 
tine chains to the bottom of the sea, 
that it might be a secure resting-place for 
his beloved. The daughter of Latona 
is, as her name Artemis indicates, a 
virgin goddess, the ideal of modesty, 
grace, and maidenly vigor. She is 
associated with her brother, the prince 
of archery, in nearly all his adventures, 
and in attributes she is his feminine 
counterpart. As he is identified with 
sunlight, so is she, his fair-tressed 
sister, with the chaste brilliance of the 
moon. Its slender arc is her bow ; its 
beams arc her arrows with which she sends upon womankind a 
speedy and painless death. In Her prerogative of moon-goddess 
she is frequently identified with Selene, daughter of Hyperion, just 
as Apollo is with Helios. Despising the weakness of love, Diana 
imposed upon her nymphs vows of perpetual maidenhood, any 
violation of which she was swift and severe to punish. Graceful 
in form and free of movement, e<iuipped for the chase, and sur- 
rounded by a bevy of fair companions, the swift-rushing goddess 




6f CLASS/C MYTHS IN ENGUSM UTKHATUKE. 

was wont to scour hill, valley, forest, and plain. She was, how- 
ever, not only huntress, but guardian, of wild beasts, — mistress 
withal of horses and Icine and other domestic brutes. She ruled 
marsh and mountain ; her gleaming arrows smote sea as well as 
land. Springs and woodland brooks she favored, for in them she 
and her attendants were accustomed to bathe. She blessed with 
verdure the meadows and arable lands, and from them obtained a 
meed of thanks. When weary of the chase, she turned to music 
and dancing ; for the lyre and flute and song were dear to her. 
Muses, Graces, nymphs, and the fair goddesses themselves thronged 
the rites of the chorus-leading queen. Rut ordinarily a woodhind 
chapel or a rustic altar sufficed for her worship. There the hunter 
laid his offering — antlers, skin, or edible portions of the deer that 
Artemis of the golden arrows had herself vouchsafed him. The 
holy maid, however, though naturally gracious, gentle, and a healer 
of ills, was, like her brother, quick to resent injury to her 
sacred herds, or insult to herself. To this stern temper Agamem- 
non, Orion, and Niobe bore regretful testimony. They found that 
the " fair-crowned queen of the echoing chase," though blithe and 
gracious, was by no means a frivolous personage. 

Diana was mistress of the brute creation, protectress of youth, 
patron of temperance in all things, guardian of civil right. The 
cypress tree was sacred to her ; and her favorites were the bear, 
the boar, the dog, the goat, and specially the hind. 



"Queen and Huntress, chaste ami fair, 
Kow the sun is UiU to sleep, 
Seate<l in thy silver chair 

State in wonted manner keep: 
Hcspcnia entreats thy light. 
Goddess excellently bright. 

''Earth, let not thy envious shade 
Dare itself to interpose; 
Cynthia's shining orb H'as made 
Keavcu to clear when day did cloM 



J 



ATTX/BUTES OF THE GODS OP MEAVEK, 




BtcH US Chen with wishM 

sight. 
Goddess excellently bright. 

** VAy thy bow of pctirl apart. 
And thy crystal -shining 
^B qtuver; 

^1 Give unto the flying hart 
^V Space to breathe, how short 
^■^ soever : 

^B Thou that roak'st a Hay of 

H 

^B Goddess excellently 

^^^^ bright,"' 

H § 40. Venus, goddess of love and beauty, was, according to the 

"more ancient Greek conception, a daughter of Jupiter and Dione ;" 

hut Hesiod says thai she arose from the foam of the sea at the 

■ lime of the wounding of I'tanus, and therefore was called, by the 
Greeks, Aphrodite, ihe foam -born.* Wafted by the west wind, and 
bome upon the surge, she won first the island of Cythera ; thence, 
like a dream, she passed to Cyprus, where the grace and blos- 
som of her beauty conquered every heart. Everywhere, at the 
touch of her feet the herbage quivered into flower. The Hours 
and Graces surrounded her, twining odorous garlands and weaving 
robes for her, that reflected the hues, and breathed the perfume, 
of crocus and hyacinth, violet, rose, lily, and narcissus. To her in- 
fluence is ascrilwd the fruitfulness of the animal and of the vegeta- 
ble creation. (She is goddess of gardens and flowers, of the rose, the 
^ myrtle, and the linderiJ The heaths and siuml>erous vales, pleas- 
ant with spring and vernal breezes, are hers. In her broidercd 
iprdle lurk 'Move and desire, and loving converse that steals the 
wits even of the wise." For she is the mistress of feminine 
charm and beauty, the golden, sweetly-smiling Aphrodite, who 
rules the hearts of men. She lends to mortals seductive form and 

> Ben Jonson, Hymn to Uuiiu. ' Iliad 5 : 370, etc " A |i>ipuUr ctymulugy. 



66 



CLASS/C MYTHS FN ENGUSH UTERATURE. 



fascination. To a few, indeed, her favor is a blessing ; but to 
many her gifts are treacherous, destructive of peace. Her various 
influence is exemplified in the stories of Pygmalion and Adonis, 
Paris and ^neas, Helen, Ariadne, Psyche, Procris, Pasiphae, and 
Phaedra. Her power extended over sea as well as land ; and her 
temples rose from many a shore. COri thejvatereswananddolphiiL- 
were beloved of her ;vin air, the sparrow and the dove. She was 
usually attended by her wingrd son Cupid, of whom much is to 
be told. Especially dear to her were Cyprus, Cnidos, Paphos, 
('ythera, Abydos, Mount Eryx, and the city of Corinth. 

Of artistic conceptions of Aphrodite, the most famous are 
ihe statues called the Venus of Melos, and the Venus of the 
Medici.' A comparison of the two conceptions is instituted in the 
following poem.' The worshipper apostrophizes the Venus of 
Melos, that '• inner beauty of the world," whose tranquil smile 
he finds more fair than **The Medicean's sly and servile 
grace '* : — 

"From our low worW no gods have taken wing; 
Even now upon our hills the Iwain arc wandering:' 
The Medicean's sly and servile grace, 
And the immortal beauty of thy face. 
One is the spirit of all short'Iived luve 
And nulward, earthly loveliness: 
The tremulous rosy iiiurn is her mouth's ftiiiile« 
The sky, bcr laughing azure eyes above; 
AnH, waiting for caress, 
Lie hare the soft hill-slopes, the while 
Her thrilling voice is heard 

In song of wind and wave, and every flitting bird. 
Not plainly, never quite herself she shows : 
Just a swift glance of her illumine.! smile 
Along the landscape goes; 



' For Venus in poetry and art, see Commentary. \ 40. 

* From Ihe Venus of Mito by E. R. Sill, formerly professor of English Litemtur* 
in the University of Califomia. The cut, p. 67. represents the Melos. 

' The references are to the Berkeley Hills, the Bay of Sao Francisco, and the 
glimpses of (he Pacific. 



r 




just a lott hint of singing, tu licgaile 
A man from all his toil; 
Snme vanished gtcam of beckon- 
ing arm, to spoil 
A muming's task M-ith longing, wild 

and vain. 
Then if across the parching plain 
lie seek her, she with passion burn^ 
Mis heart to fever, and he hears 
'Ihe west wind's mocking laughter 

when he turns, 
Shivering in mist uf ocean's sullen 

tears. 
It i» the Mcdicean: well I know 
rhe arts her ancient subtlety will 

show,— 
The stubble ttcid she turns to ruddy 

gold; 
The empty distance she will fold 
In purple gauze ; the warm glow 

she has kissed 
Along the chilling mist : 
Cheating and cheated love that 

grows to hate 
And ever deeper loathing, soon or 

late. 
Thou, too, O fairer spirit, walkest 

here 
Upon (he tlTted hills: 
Wherever that Htill thought within 

Ihe brca«t 
The inner beauty of the vrorld hath 

moved; 
In starlight that the dome of even- 
ing tills; 
On endless waters rounding tu the 

west : 
For them who thro' that beauty's 

veil have lovc<I 
[The soul of all things beautiful 

the best. 



68 CLASSIC A/VIJ/S /X ENGLISH UTERATVRE. 

For lying broa.I awake, long ere the Jawii, 

Staring against the dark, the blank uf space 

Opens immcasurablv, and chy face 

Wavcn and glimmers there and la withdrawn. 

Aiid many days, when all une's wurk is vain, 

And life goes stretching an» a wiutc gray plain* 

With even the short mimge of morning gone, 

No cool breatli aiiVM-hL-re, iiu shadou nigh 

Where a weary man might lay him down and die, 

Lo! thou art there before me suddenly, 

With sliade as if a summer cloud did pass. 

And spray of fountains whispertng to the grass 

Oh, save rae from the haste and noise and heat 

That spoil life's music sweet: 

And from that lesser Aphrodite there — 

Even now she stands 

Qose as f turn, and O my soul, how fair \ " 

§ 41. Mercury (Hermes), bom in a cave of Mount Cyllene in 
Arcadia, was the son of Jupiter and Maia 
(the daughter of AtUs). According lo 
conjecture, his name Herma tucaa^ the 
Hastcner, Mercury, swift as the wind, 
was the servant and herald of Jupiter 
and the other gods. On his ankles (in 
plastic art), and his low-crowned, broad- 
brimmed pffasut, or hat, were wings. 
As messenger of Heaven, he U>re a 
wand (catiiueui) of wood or of gold, 
twined with snakes and surmounted by wings, and possessed of 
magical powers over sleeping, waking, and dreams. He was beau- 
tiful, and ever in the prime of youthful vigor. To a voice sweet- > 
toned and 'powerful, he added the persuasiveness of eloquence. < 
Bui his skill was not confined to speech : he was, also, the first of 
inventors — to him are ascribed the lyre, the syrinx, and the flute. 
He was the forerunner, too, of mathematicians and astronomers. 
His agility and strength made him e:isily prince in athletic pur- 
suits. His cunning rendered him a dangerous foej he could wel) 



i 



ATT/f/BUTES OP '/'//£■ GOVS £?/' MEAVEfr. 



m 



play the trickster and the thief, as Apollo found out to his vexa- 
tion, amd Argus, and many another unfortunate. His medtods, 
however, were not ahi'ays questionable, although the patron of 
gamblers and the god of chance, he, at the same time, was the 
furtherer of lawful industry and of commerce by land and sea. 
The gravest function of the Messenger was to conduct the souls 
of the dead " thai gibber like bats as they fare, down llie dank 



ways, past the streams of Oceanus, pnst the gales of the sun and 
the land of dreams, to the mead of asphodel in the dark realm o{ 
Hades, where dwell the souls, the phantoms of men outworn. " * 

§ 42. Vesta (Hestia), goddess of the hearth, public and private, 
was the finit-born child of Cronus and Rhea, and, accordingly, 
the elder sister nf Jupiter. Juno, Neptune, Tlnto, and Ceres. Vesta 
was an old maid by choice. Averse to Venus and all her ways, 
she scorned the flattering advances of both Neptune and Apollo, 
and resolved tn remain single. ^Miereupon Jupiter gave her to 
sit in the middle of his palace, to receive in Olympus the choicest 
morsels of the feast, — and, in the temples of the gods on earth, 
reverence as the oldest and worthiest of Olympian divinities. 
As goddess of the burning hearth, Vesta is the divinity of the 
home : of settled, in opposition to nomadic, habits of life. She 



* Laii|[. Odjuey 34 : t ; niJnptcd. 



70 



Cr^SSfC MYTHS IN ENGI ISH UTFJiATVRE, 



was worshipped, first of the gods, at every feast. Before her shrine 
in city and state the holy flame was religiously cherished. From 
her altars those of the other gods obtained their tires. No new 
colony, no new home, was duly consecrated till on its central hearth 
there glowed coals from her ancestral hearth. In her temple at 
Rome a sacred fire, tended by six virgin priestesses called Vestals, 
was kepi religiously aflame. As the safety of the city was held 
to be connected with its tonser^'ailon, any negligence, by which 
it might go out, was severely punished. Whenever the fire did 
die, it was rekindled from the rays of the sun. 

§ 43. Of the Lesser Divinities of Heaven the most worthy of 
mention are : — 

(i) Cupid (EroB), small hut mighty god of love, the son of 
Venus, and her constant companion. He was often represented 
with eyes covered because of the blindness of his actions. With 
his bow and arrows, he shot the darts of desire into the bosoms of 
gods and men. Another deity nametl Anteros, reputed the brother 
of Eros, was sometimes represented as the avenger of slighted 
love, and sometimes as the symbtil of reciprocal affection. Venus 
was also attended at times by Hymen, a beautifvil youth of divine 
descent, the personification of the wedding feasl, and leader of 
the nuptial chonis. 

** Within » forest, as I strayed 
Ku down a sombre autumn glade, 
I found the god of love; 

His bow and arrows cast aside. 
His lovely arms extended wide, 
,\ depth of leaves alMJve, 
Beneath o'crarching boughs hr made 
.\ place for sleep in russet shade. 

" HU lips, more red than any rose, 
Were like a flower that uvcrHows 
With honey pure and sweet ; 
And clustering round thnt h^ly niouth, 
The golden bees in eager drouth 
FUed busy wings and feet; 



ATTRIBUTES OF THE CODS OF ftEAV&N, 



71 




They knew, what every lover knows. 
There's no such honey-bloom that blows." ' 

(3) Hebe, daughter of Jupiter and Juno, goddess of youth, 
and cup-bearer to the gods. Ac- 
cording to one story, she resigned 
that office on becoming the wife 
of Hercules. According to another, 
Hebe was dismissed from her po- 
sition in consequence of a fall which 
she mei with one day when in 
attendance on the gods. Her suc- 
cessor was Ganymede, a Trojan boy 
whom Jupiter, in the disguise of an 
eagle, seized and carried off from 
the midst of his playfellows on 
Mount Ida, bore up to Heaven, and 
installed in the vacant place. 

(3) The Graces, daughters of Jove by Eurynome, daughter of 
Oceanus. Thty were goddesses presiding over the banquet, the 
dance, all social pleasures, and polite accomplishments. They 
were three in number, — Euphrosyne, Aglaia, and Thalia. Spenser 
describes the office of the Graces thus : — 

These three un men all graciuutt giftk bestow 
Which deck the body or adum the mind. 
To make ihem lovely or wcU-favored show; 
As comely carriage, entertainment kind. 
Sweet semblance, friendly uHiceft that bind, 
And all the complements of cuurtcsy; 
They teach us how to each degree and kind 
Wc should ourselves demean, to low, to high. 
To friends, to fues; which skill men call civili^r. 

(4) The Muses, daughters of Jupiter and Mnemosyne (Mem- 
ory). They presided over song, and prompted the memory. 

' Eros, by Edmund Go&se. For verses on the blindness of Cupid, s«e Lyiy's 
t'Hptd tmd Camfatfe in Comm»»nr«ry, ^ 43. 




: 



a.ASSfC MYTHS IX ENGUSH UTERATUPE, 



They are ordinarily cited as nine in number ; and to each of them 
was assigned the presidence over some department of lilcraturCi 
art, or science. Calliope was the muse of epic poetry, Clio of his- 
tory, Euterpe of lyric poetry, Melpomene of tragedy, Terpsichore 
of choral dance and song, Krato of love poetry, Polyhymnia of 
sacred poetry, Urania of astronomy, Thalia of comedy. 

(5) Themis, one of the Titans, a daughter of Uranus. She sat, 
as goddess of justice, beside Jupiter on his throne. She was 
beloved of the father of gods and men, and bore him the Hours, 
goddesses who regulated the seasons, and the Fates. 

(6) The Fates, three in number, — Cloiho, Lachesis, and Atr 
pos. Their office was to spin the thread of human destiny, and they 
were provided with shears, with which they rut it off when they 
pleased.' According to Hesiod, they were daughters of Night. 

(7) Nemesis, daughter of Night. She represented the right- 
eous anger and vengeance of the gods, particularly toward the 
proud, the in^-olent, and breakers of the law. 

(8) ^sculapiua, son of Apollo. By his skill in medicine, he 
restored the dead to life. Being killed by the lightning of Jove, 
he was translated to the ranks of Fleaven. His function was the 
art of healing. 

(9) The Winds, — Boreas or Aquilo, the north wind ; Zephy 
_ or Favonius, the west 



BOPEAE 





Notus or A lister, 
south ; and Eurus, 
east The first two, 
chiefly, have been cel- 
ebrated by the poets, 
the former as the type 
of rudeness, the latter 
of gentleness. It is 
said that Boreas loved 
the nymph Orithyi.i. and tried to play the lover's part, but met 
with poor success : for it was hard for him to breathe gently, 
1 For description of their spinning, sec trannlation of Catullus t..viv, in \ 165. 





AI'THIBUTES OF THE GODS OF //FA VEX. 



73 



and sighing was out of the question. Weary at last of fruitless 
endeavors, he acted out his true character, seized the maiden and 
bore her off. Their children were Zeles and Calais, winged war- 
riors, who accompanied the Argonautic expedition, and did good 
service in an encounter with those monstrous birds, the Harpies. 
Zephyrus was the lover of Flora (Chloris). 

Here, loo, may be mentioned ^olus, the king of the winds, 
although he is not a lesser divinity of Heaven. His palace was 
on the precipitous isle of ^-Eolia, where, with his six sons and six 
daughters, he kept eternal carouse. The winds, which he confined 
in a cavern, he let loose as he saw fit, or as he was bidden by 
superior deities. 

(lo) Helios, Selene, and Eoa, children of the Titan, Hyperion. 
Helios and Selene were the more ancient Greek divinities of Sun 
and Moon respectively. Helios, the charioteer of the sun, is, as 
has been already said, frequently identified with his successor. 
Apollo. The attributes and adventures of Selene were merged 
in those of the more modern Diana. Eos, or, in Latin nomen 
claturc, Aurora, the rosy-fingered goddess of the Morn, was mother 
of the stars and of the morning and evening breezes. 

(ii) Phosphor, the moming-star, the star of Venus, son of 
Aurora and the hunter CcphaUis. Hesper, the evening-star, was 
sometimes identified with Phosphor. 
He was king of the Western Land. 
and, say some, father of the Hes- 
perides, who guarded the golden 
apples of the sunset 

(12) Various Other Personifica- 
tions. — The constellation Orion. 
whose story will be narrated ; Vic- 
toria (Nike), the goddess of Victory : 
Discors ( Eris) , the goddess of 
Strife J and Iris, goddess of the rainbow, who is represented fre- 
quently as a messenger of the gods. 



74 



ClASSiC MyrUS in ILNGUHH WlEKATUitt., 




CHAPTER VI. 



THE GODS OF EARTH.) 

§ 44. Conception of the World. — The Clreek poets believed 
the earth to be flat and circular. In their opinion, their own 
country occupied the middle of it, and the central point was 
either Mount Oljinpus, the abode of the gods, or Delphi, famous 
for its oracle. The circular disk of the earth was crossed from 
west to east, and divided into two equal parts by the Sea^ as they 
called the Mediterranean and its continuation, the Euxine. the 
only seas with which they were acquainted. Around the earth 
flowed River Ocean^ from south to north on the western side, in a 
contrar)' direction on the eastern. It flowed in a steady, equable 
current, unvexed by storm or tempest. The sea, and all the rivers 
on earth, received their waters from it. 

The northern portion of the earth was inhabited by the Hyper- 
boreans, dwelling in bliss and everlasting spring beyond the moun- 
tains whose caverns sent forth the piercing blasts of the north 
wind. Their country was inaccessible by land or sea. They 
lived exempt from disease or old age, from toils and warfare. " I 
come " sings one of ihem :* — 

" 1 come from a land in the sun-bright deep, 
VVhcrc gulden gardens glow, 
Where the winds of the north, becalmed in aleep. 
Their conch-shells never blow." 

On the south side of the earth, close to the stream of Ocean, 
dwelt the j^thiopians. whom the gods held in such favor that 



I For references to poetry and works of art, see Commentary. 
* According 10 I'homas Moore's Song of a Hyperborean. 



THE GODS OF EARTH. 



75 



they left at times the Olympian abodes to partake of the Ethio- 
pian sacritices and banquets. On the western margin of the earth, 
by the stream of Ocean, lay the Elysian Plain, where certain 
mortals enjoyed an immortality of bliss. 

The Dawn, tht: Sun, and the Moon were supposed to rise out 
of Ocean on the eastern side, and to drive through the air, giving 
light to gods and men. The stars, also, except those forming the 
Wain or Bear, and others near 
them, rose out of and sank into 
the stream of Ocean. There the 
sun-god embarked in a winged 
boat, which conveyed him by the 
northern part of the earth back 
to his place uf rising in the east. 

§ 45. Ceres (Demeter), the 
goddess of sowing and reaping, 
of harvest festivals, and of agri- 
culture in general, was sister of 
Jupiter, and daughter of Cronus 
and Rhea- She is connected 
through her daughter Proser- 
pine, queen of Hades, with the 
holy ceremonies and rites of 
death and of the lower world. 
Of the institutions founded, or 
favored, by her the most impor- 
tant were the mysteries cele- 
brated at Eleusis, concerning which we know that, in the pres- 
ence of individuals initialed in the secret ritual, and perhaps with 
their cooperation, scenes were enacted which represented the 
alternation of death and life in nature, and, apparently, forecast 
the resurrection and immortality of man. Sacred to Ceres and 
to Proserpine were golden sheaves of com and soporific poppies ; 
while, among animals, cows, sheep, and pigs were acceptable to 
them. 





CLASSIC MYTHS IN ENGUSH UTERATURE, 

S 45^1. Gaea, or Ge, the Mother Earth, wife of Uranus, belongs 
to the older order of gods ; so also, another goddess of the earth, 
Rhea, the wife of Cronus and mother of Jupiter. In Phrygia, 
Rhea became identified with Cybele, whose worship, as mother 
of the gods, was, at a later period, introduced into Rome. The 
Greek mother, Rhea, was attended by the Cureles ; the Phrygian 
mother by the Corybantes, who celebrated her orgies with enthu- 
siastic din of trumpets, drums, and cymbals. Cybele presided 
over mountain fastnesses and foriified places. 

§ 46. Bacchus, or Dionysus, the god of wine, was the son of 
Jupiter and Semele, daughter of Cadmus of Thebes. He was 
especially the god of animal life and vegetation. He represented 
not only che inioxicating power of wine, but its social and benefi- 
cent influences, and was looked upon as a promoter of civilization, 
a lawgiver and a lover of peace. His forehead was crowned 
with vine-leaves or ivy. He rode upon the tiger, the panther, or 
the lynx, or was drawn by them in a car. His worshippers were 
Bacchanals, or Bacchantes. He was attended by Satyrs and Sileni, 
and by women called Mienads, who, as they danced and sang, 
waved in the air the thyrsuSy a staff entwined with ivy and sur- 
raounled by a pine cone. 




"The praise of Bacchus then the sweet musician sung, 
Of Bacchus ever fair, and ever young. 
The jolly ){oU in triumph cornea; 
Sound the trumpets, beat the drams; 
Flushed with a purple grace 
He shows his honest face: 
Now give the hautboys breath; he comet, he comet. 
Bacchus, ever fair and young. 

Drinking joys did first ordain; 
Bacchus' hlcssingt are a treasure. 
Drinking is the toldier's pleasure; ' 
Rich the treasure. 
Sweet the pleasure, 
Sweet is pleasure after pain."' 



THE GODS OF EARTH. 



77 



$ 47. The Lesser Divinities of Earth were : — 

(i) Pan, son of Mercury and a wood-nymph or Dryad. He 
was the god of woods 
and fields, of flocks and 
shepherds. He dwelt 
in cavesj wandered on 
the mountains and in 
valleys, amused himself -y ^^y.. 
with the chase, led the 
dances of the Dryads, 
and made love to them. 
But his suit was fre- 
quently of no avail, for though good-natured, he was not pre- 
possessing ; his hoofs and burns did not enhance his comeli- 
ness. He was fond of music, and was himself inventor of the 
syrinx, or shepherd's pipe, which he played in a masterly manner. 
Like other gods who dwelt in forests, he was dreaded by those 
whose occupations caused them to pass 
through the woods by night ; for gloom 
and loneliness oppress and appal the mind. 
Hence sudden unreasonable fright was as- 
cribed to Pan, and called a Panic terror. 

(2) The Nymphs. — Pan's partners in the 
dance, the Dryads, were but one of several 
classes of nymphs. There were, beside them, 
the Oreads, nymphs of mountains and grot- 
tos ; and the Water-nymphs, who are men- 
tioned in § 54. 

(3) The Satyrs, deities of the woods and 
fields. In early art they appear as bearded creatures with snub 
noses, goats' ears and horses' tails (p. 1 75). Later they resemble 
youths, sometimes with sprouting horns. The goat-legged satyr 
is found in Roman poetr)'. 



^ 




THE CODS OF THE VNDEHWORLO, 



79 



it was the duly of Mercury to conduct the spirits of the dead to 
this realm of Pkito ; but in later poems we read that Charon, a 
griui boatman, received them at the River of Woe, and ferried 
them across, if the money requisite for their passage had been 
placed in their mouths, and their bodies had been duly buried in 
the world above.' Otherwise he left them gibbering on the hither 
bank. The abode of Pluto Is represented as wide-gated, and 
thronged with guests. At the gale Cerberus, a three-headed, 
serpent-tailed dog, lay on guard,— friendly to the spirits entering, 
but inimical to those who would depart. The palace itself is dark 
and gloomy, set in the midst of uncanny fields haunted by strange 
apparitions.'^ The groves are of sombre trees, — willows and silver 
poplars. The meads of Asphodel, where wander the shades, are 
barren, or, at best, siudiltd with futile bushes and pale-flowered 
weeds. This is the Gardt-n of I'roscrpinc. 

Here life has death for neighbor. 

And far from eye or ear 
Wan waves aad wet winds labor. 

Weak ships and spirits steer; 
They drive adrift, and whither 
They wal not who make thither; 
But no such winds blow hither. 

And no such things t>'^ow here. 

No growth of moor or coppice, 

No heather-flower ur vine, 
But blootnless buds of poppies, 

Green grapes of Proserpine, 
Pale beds of blowing rushes, 
Where no leaf blooms or blushei 
Save this whereout she crushes 

For dead men deadly wine, 

Pale, beyond porcb and portal, 
Crovmed with calm leavers, she stands 



iCneid 6. 



S Odyssey 1 1 : 634. 



CLASSIC A/VrNS IN ENGLISH UTERATURE, 



Who gathers all things murtal 

With cold immortal hands; 
Her languid Ups are sweeter 
Than love's, who fears to greet her, 
To men that mix and meet her 

From many times and lands. 

She waits for each and other, 
She waits for all men born; 

Forgets the earth her mother. 
The life of fruits and corn; 

And spring and seed and swallow 

Take wing for her and follow 

Where summer song rings hollow, 
And flowers arc put to sconi. 

We arc not sure of sorrow. 

And joy was never sure; 
To-day will die to-morrow; 

Time stoops to no man's lure; 
And love, grown faint and fretful. 
With lips but half regretful 
Siglts. and with eyes forgetful 

Weeps that no loves endure. 

From too much love of living. 
From hope and fear set frcL-, 

We thank with brief thanksgiving 
Whatever gods may be 

That no life lives forever; 

That dead men rise up never ; 

That even the weariest river 
Winds somewhere safe to sea. 

Then star nor sun shall waken, 

Nor any change of light; 
Nor sound of waters shaken, 

Nor any sound or sight; 
Nor wintry leaves nor vernal, 
Nor days nor things diurnal: 
Only the sleep eternal 

In an eternal night. ^ 

» From the Garden of Proserpine, by A. C. Swinburne. 



•(/- 



\y 



J 



THE GODS OF THE UNDERWORLD, 



81 



With the ghosts of Hades the living might but rarely communi- 
cate, and only through certain oracles of the dead, situate by cav- 
ernous spots and sheer abysms, deep and melancholy streams, and 
baleful marshes. These naturally seemed to afibrd access to the 
world below. One of these descents to the Underworld was near 
Taenanim in Laconia ; another, near Cumae in Italy, was Lake 
Avemus, so foul in its exhalations that, as its name portends, no 
bird could fly across it.' Before the judges of the lower world, — 
Minos, i^acus, and Rhadamanthus, — the souls of the dead were 
brought to trial. The rnndenmed were assigned to regions where 
all manner of torment awaited them at the hands of monsters dire, 
— the fifty-headed Hydra and the 
avenging Furies. Some evil-doers, such 
as theTitans of old, were doomed to lan- 
guish in the gulf of Tartanis immeas- 
urably below. Rut the souls of the 
guiltless fjassed to the Elysian Fields, 
where each followed the chosen pur- 
suit of his former life in a land of 
spring, sunlight, happiness, and song. 
And by the Fields there flowed the 
river Lethe, from which the souls of 
those that were to return to the earth 
in other bodies drank oblivion of their former lives. 

A conception of the realm of Pluto in the western seas, to which 
Hermes conducts the outworn ghosts of mortals, is recorded in 
a passage of the Odyssey,^ already cited (§ 41). The While 
Rock which they pass on their way symbolizes, perchance, the 
bleaching skeletons of the dead. The people of this world — of 
ghosts and clouds and dnrkness — are also sometimes named the 
Cimmerians, and are then located in the far north, where the sun 
neither rises nor sets. But Homer's Elysium of the western seas 
is a happy land, not tried by sun, nor cold, nor rain, but always 
fanned by the gentle breezes of Zephyrus. Hither favored heroes 

1 /Ebcid 6. 3 Odyucy 24 : i. 





82 



CLASSIC MYTHS TN ENGLISH LITER A TURE. 



pass without dying, and live under the happy rule of Rhadamanthus. 
The Elysium of Hesiod and Pindar is likewise in the Western 
Ocean, on the Islands of the Blessed, the Fortunate Isles. From 
this dream of a western Elysium may have sprung the legend of 
the island Atlantis. The blissful region may have been whoUy 
imaginary. It is^ however, not impossible that the myth had its 
origin in the reports of slorm-driven mariners who had caught a 
glimpse of occidental lands. In these Islands of the Blest, the 
Titans, released from Tartarus after many years, dwelt under the 
golden sway of the white-haired Cronus.* 

There was no heavy heat, no cold. 
The dwellers there wax never old. 

Nor wither with the waning time. 
But each man keeps that age be had 

When first he won the fairy clirae. 
The night falU never from on high, 

Nor ever burns the heat of noon; 
But such soft light eternally 

Shines, as in silver dawns of June 
Before the sun hath climbed the sky! 



All these their mirth and pleasure made 

Within the plain Elyatan, 

The fairest meadow thai may be, 
Willi all green fra|»rant trees for shade, 

And every scented wind tu fan. 

And sweetest flowers to strew the lea; 
The soft winds arc their servants fleet 

To fetch them every fruit at will 

And water from the river chill; 
And every bird that singeth sweet. 

Throstle, and merle, and nightingale. 

Brings blossoms from the dewy vale, — 
Lily, and rose, and asphodel, — 

With these doth each guest twine his crown 

And wreathe his cup, and lay him down 
Beside some friend he loveth well.' 



> Hesiod. Works and Days. 169. 

• From the Forlunaic Island9.hr Andrew Lang. 




THE GODS OF TffE UNDERWORLD, 

% 49. Pinto, or Hades was brother of Jupiter. To him fell the 
sovereignty of the lower world and the shades of the dead. In 
his character of Hades, the viewless, he is hard and inexorable. 
By virtue of the helmet or cap given him 
by the Cyclopes, he moved hither and 
yon, dark, unseen, — hated of mortals. 
He was, however, lord not only of all that 
descends to the bowels of the earthy but 
of all that proceeds from the earth ; and 
in the latter aspect he was revered as 
Phito, or the giver of wealth. At his 
pleasure he visited the realms of day, — 
as when he carried off Proserpina ; occa- 
sionally he journeyed to Olympus ; but 
otherwise he ignored occurrences in the 
upper world, nor did he suffer his subjects, 
by returning, to find them out. Mortals, 
when they called on his name, beat the 
ground with their hands, and, averting 
their faces, sacrificed black sheep to him and to his queen. He 
IS known also as Dis, Orcus, and Tartarus. 

§ 50. Proserpina (Persephone) was the daughter of Ceres and 
Jupiter. She was queen of Hades, — a name applied both lo the 
ruler of the shades and to his realm. When she is goddess of 
spring, dear to mankind, Proserpina be.irs a cornucopia over- 
flowing with flowers, and revisits the earth in duly recurring 
season. But when she is goddess of death, sitting beside Pluto, 
she directs the Furies, and, like her husband, is cniel, unyielding, 
inimical to youth and life and hope. In the story of her descent 
to Hades will be found a further account of her attributes and 
fortunes. 

§ 51. The Lesser Divinities of the Underworld were : — 

(i) iEacus, Rhadamanthus, and Minos, sons of Jupiter and 
judges of the shades in the lower world. -'Eacus had been during 
his earthly life a righteous king of the island of itgina. Minos 




84 



CLASSIC MYTHS IN ENCUSH UTERATURE. 



had been a famous lawgiver and king of Crete. The life of 
Rhadamanthus was not eventful. 

(3) The Furies (Erinyes, or Eumenides ) , Alecto, Tisiphone, 
and Megaera, born of thehlood of the wounded Uranus. They 
we re attendants of Proserpina. They punished wTth the frenzies 
of remorse the crimes of those who had escaped from, or defied, 
public justice. The hf*ad<t of thp F uripj; were wre athed wit h 
5Ctpents. 

(3) 9sMte, a mysterious divinity sometimes identified with 
Dian a and sometimes with P roserpin a. As Diana represents the 
moonlight splendor of night, so Hecate represents its darkne ss 
and terro rs. She ha unted cross-roads and graveyards,. was the 
goddess of sorcery and witchcraft, agd wandered j^y nigh^, seen 
o nly by the dogs, whose b:^rking told of her approach . 

(4) Sleep, or Somnus (Hypnoa), and Death (Thanatos), sons 
of Night.* They dwell in subterranean darkness. The former 
brings to mortals solace and fair dreams, and can lull the shining 
eyes of Jove himself. The latter closes forever the eyes of men. 
Dreams, too, arc sons of Night.* They dwell beside their brother. 
Death, along the Western Sea. Their abode has two gates, — one 
of ivory, whence issue false and flattering visions ; the other of 
horn, through which true dreams and noble pass to men.* 

1 Iliad \^\9%x\ 16:67a. 

s Odyssey 24 : 13 : X9;56o. Ovid. Metamorphoses ix:59fl. 
* For genealogical tabic, see Commentary, \ 51. 





CHAPTER VIII. 



THE GODS OF THE WATERS.* 

§ 52, There were two dynasties of the sea. The Older, which 
flourished during the rule of Cronus, was founded by the Titans, 
Oceanus and Tethysi from whom sprang three thousand rivers, and 
ocean-nymphs unnumbered. The palace of Oceanus was beyond 
the limits of the bountiful earth/ 
surrounded by gardens and all 
things fair. From ages imme- 
morial another dweller in the 
glimmering caves of Ocean was 
PODtus (the deep sea^ or the 
water-way), who became, by 
Mother Earth, father of Ne- 
reus. ITiis Nereus, a genial 
old man of the sea, was distinguished for his prophetic gifts, his 
knowledge, his love of truth and justice. Taking to wife one of 
the daughters of Oceanus, the nymph Doris, he was blessed with 
a family of fifty fair daughters, the Nereids. Of these daughters 
the most famous are Galatea, Thetis, and Amphitrile ; the last of 
whom gave her hand to Neptune, brother of Jove, and thus united 
the Older and the Younger dynasties of the sea, 

§ 53. Of the Younger Dynasty of the waters Keptune and 
Amphitrite were the founders. Neptune's palace was in the 
depths of the sea, near .'Kgse in Eubcea; but he made his home 
on Olympus when he chose. The symbol of his power was the 
trident, or three- pronged spear, with which he could shatter rocks, 




I For references to poetry and works of art. lee Commeotary. 
■ lUad 14:903. 





06 CLASSIC MYTHS IN ENGLISH UTERATURE. 

call forth or subdue storms, and shake the shores of earth. He 
created the horse, and was the patron of horse races. His own 
steeds were brazen-hoofed and golden- naaned. They drew his 

chariot over the sea, which 
became smooth before hini, 
while dolphins and other mon- 
sters of the deep gambolled 
about his path. Id his honor 
black and white bulls, white 
boars, and rams were sacri- 
ficed. 

§ 54. Lesser Divinities of 
the Waters * were : — 

(x) Triton, the son of Nep- 
tune and Amphiirile, trum- 
peter of Ocean. By his blast on the sea-shell he stirred or allayed 
the waves. 

(a) Proteus, an attendant, and according to certain traditions, 
a son of Neptune. Like Nereus, he was a little old man of the 
sea. He possessed the prophetic gift and the power of changing 
his shape at will. 

(3) The Harpies, foul creatures, with heads of maidens, bodies, 
wings, and claws of birds, and faces pale with hunger They arc 
the offspring of Thau mas, a son of Pontus and Gaea. 

(4) The uncanny offspring of Phorcys and Ceto, — children o( 
Pontus, — who rejoiced in the horrors of the sea : — 

{ji\ The Grs«, three hoary witches, with one eye between them 

which they used in turn. 
iff) The Gorgons, whose glance was icy death. 
(f) The Sirens, muses of the sea and of death, who by their 

sweet singing enticed seafarers to destruction, 
(i/) ScylU, also destructive to mariners, a six-headed monster, 

whose lower limbs were serpents and ever-barking dogs, 

(5) Atlu, who stood in the far west, bearing on his shoulders 

1 For genealogical table, sec CommenUry, \\ 59-54. 




THE GODS OF TlfE WATERS, 



87 



vault of heaven. He was once regarded as a divinity of the 
sea^ but later as a mountain. He was the son of lapetus, and 
the father of three classes of nymphs, — the Pleiads, the Hyads, 
H and, according to some stones, the Hesperids. The last-men- 
lioned, assisted by their mother, Hesperis, and a dragon, guarded 
the golden apples of the tree that had sprung up to grace the 
wedding of Jove and Juno. The daughters of Atlas were not 

■ themselves divinities of the sea. 
(6) The Water-nymphs. — Beside the Oceenids and the Nereida. 
who have already been mentioned, of most importance were the 
ITaiads, daughters of Jupiter. They presided over brooks and foun- 
tains. Other lesser powers of the Ocean were Glaucus, Lcucothea, 
and Melicertes, of whom more is said in another section. 

The sympathy with classical ideals, which is requisite to a due 
appreciation of the Greek theogony, is nowadays a rare possession. 
There is, however, no strain of simulated regret in the following 

t statement of the difference between ancient and modern concep- 
s of nature. 



The world is too much with us; late and soon, 
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers : 
Little we iee in Nature that is ours; 
We have given our hearts away, a sordid boonl 
Thia sea that bares her bosom to the mouD; 
The winds that will be howling at all hours. 
And arc upgathcred now like sleeping flowera; 
For this, for everything, we are out of tune; 
It moves us nut. — Great God! I'd rather be 
A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn; 
So might I, standing on this pleasant lea. 
Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn; 
Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea; 
Or hear old Triton blow hit wreathed horn.' 

1 By Wordsworth. 




CLASSIC MYTHS IN ENGUSH UTERATURE, 



CHAPTER IX. 

THE ROMAN DIVINITIES 



{/ 



§55. Gods Common to Greece and Italy. — Of the deities 
already mentioned, the following, although they were later identi- 
fied with certain Orcck gods and goddesses' whose characteristics 
and adventures they assumed, had developed an independent wor- 
ship in Italy : Jupiter (Zeus) ; Juno (Hera) ; Minerva (Athene) ; 
Diana (Artemis) ; Mars (Ares) ; Venus (Aphrodite) ; Vulcanus, 
or Mulciber (Hephzestus) ; Vesta (Hestia) ; Mercurius (Hermes) ; 
Neptunus (Posidon) ; Ceres (Demeter) ; Liber (Bacchus) ; Libera 
(Proserpina) ; Magna Mater, the great mother of the gods (Rhea, 
Cybele) ; Orcus (Pluto, Hades) ; TelKis, the Earth (Gsea). 

§56. Italian Gods. — There were also divinities always pe- 
culiar to Roman mythology. Of these the more important 
are : — 

(i) Saturn, an ancieni Italian deity. Fanciful attempts were 
made to identify him with the Grecian god Cronus ; and it was 
fabled that after his dethronement by Jupiter, he fled to Italy, 
where he reigned during the Golden Age. In memory of his 
dominion, the feast of Saturnalia was held every year in the winter 
season. Then all public business was suspended ; declarations of 
war and criminal executions were postponed ; friends made pres- 
ents to one another ; and even slaves were indulged with great 
liberties. A feast was given them at which they sat at table, while 
their masters served, to show the natural equality of men, and 
that all things belonged equally to all, in the reign of Saturn. 
The wife of Saturn was Ops, goddess of sowing and harvest (later 
confounded with Rhea). 

1 Name« of the corresponding Greek divinities are In parenthesn. 






(a) Janus, the porter of Heaven. He opens the year, the first 
month being named after him. He is the guardian deity of gates, 
on which account he is commonly rep- 
resented as facing both ways. His 
temples at Rome were numerous. In 
war time the gates of the principal ones 
were always open. In peace they were 
closed ; but they were shut only once 
between the reign of Numa and that of 
Augustus. 

(3) Quirinus, a war-gad, said to be 
no other than Romulus, the founder 
of Rome, exalted after his death to a place among the immortals. 

(4) Bellona, a war-goddess. 

(5) Lucina, the goddess who brings to light, hence the 
goddess of childbirth : a title bestowed upon both Juno and 
Diana. 

(6) Terminus, the god of landmarks. His statue was a 
rude stone or post, set in the ground to mark the boundaries 
of fields. 

(7) Faunus, the grandson of Saturn. He was worshipped as 
a god of fields and shepherds, and also of prophery. His name 
in the pUiral, F*auni, expressed a class of gamesome deities, like 
the Satyrs of the Greeks. There was also a goddess called Fauna, 
or Bona Dea {good goddess). To Maia, wife of Vulcan, this 
designation. Bona Dea^ was sometimes applied. 

(8) Sylvanus, presiding over forest-glades and ploughed fields. 

(9) Pales, the goddess presiding over cattle and pastures. 
Flora, the goddess of flowers. Pomona, presiding over Iruit trees, 
Vertumnus, the husband of Pomona, was guardian of fruit trees, 
gardens, and vegetables. 



" Pumona loves the orchard. 
Ami I.iber loves the vine. 
And Pales loves the straw-built shed 
Warm with the brcalh of Line; 



90 CLASSIC MYTHS /.V ENGLISH UTERATVUE, 

And Vcna» loves the whisper 
Of plighted youth and maid 

In April's ivory moonlight. 
Beneath the che&tnat shade." * 



(lo) The Penates, gods who were supposed to attend to the 
welfare and prosperity of the family. Their name is derived frorai 
Penus, the storehouse or inner chamber, which was sacred to 
them. Every master of a family was the priest to the Penates of 
his own house. 

The Lares, or Lars, were also tutelar)' deities, but they differed 
from the Penates since they were regarded as the deified spirits 
of ancestors, who watched over and protected their descendants. 
The Lares were more particularly divinities presiding over the 
household or family ; but there were also public Lares, or guardian 
spirits of the city, Lares of the precincts, Lares of the fields, Lares 
of the highways, and Lares of the sea. To the Penates, to the 
domestic Lares (whose images were preserved in a private shrine), 
and lo the Manes (shades that hovered over the place of burial), 
the family pr.'jyers of the Romans were addressed. Other spirits, 
the Lemurea and Larvs, more nearly correspond to our ghosts. 

The Romans believed that every man had his Genius, and every 
woman her Juno ; that is, a spirit who had given them being, and 
was regarded as a protector through life. On birthdays men made 
olTerings to their Genius, women to their Juno. 

(ii) Other Italian deities were the Camens, fountain-nymphs, 
goddesses of prophecy and healing, later identified with the Muses ; 
Sol, the Sun ; Luna, the Moon ; Mater Matata, the Dawn ; Juven- 
tUB, Youth; Fides, Honesty; Feronia, goddess of groves and 
freedmen ; and a great number of personified abstractions of con- 
duct and experience, such as Fortune and Health. 

Many of these Latin divinities were derived from the earlier 
cult and ritual of the Etruscan inhabitants of Italy. 



1 From Macaulay's Prophecy of Capys. 




I 




GREECE 

in the 
Fifth Century B.C 

Laeetttrmcnlan F^taMMMlonM ^ AtiUt T ^ 1 



mVTtiS OF THE GREAT DIVIPflTIBS OF HEAVEN, 91 



^ 



CHAPTER X. 



MYTHS OF THE GREAT DIVINITIES OF HEAVEN. 



1. Mrms OF Jupiter and Juno. 

§ 57. Not a few of the adventures of Jupiter turn upoa his 
love affairs. Among the immortals, his queen liad rivals in his 
affection : for instance, Latoaa, a goddess of darkness, daughter 
of the Titans Coeus. 
and Phoebe. This 



goddess became, as 
we have already seen, 
the mother of Apollo 
and Diana. The ire 
of Juno against Ikt 
was never appeased. 
In consequence of it, 
numerous trials were 
visited upon I^tona, 
some of which find 
a place among the 
adventures of her 
children. 

§ 58. Not only with 






immortals but with mortals were Jupiter's relations sometimes of 
a dubious character. His devotion to the beautiful daughters 
of men involved him in frequent altercations with his justly jeal- 
ous spouse. Of his fondness for Danae, whom he approached in 
a shower of gold, particulars are given in the story of her son 
Perseus ; of his love for Alcmene, the granddaughter of that 



92 



CLASSIC MYTHS iN ENCUSH LiTERATURE 



Perseus, we are informed in the myths of her son Hercules ; and 
of his attentions to Leda, whom he wooed in gttise of a swan, we 
learn in the arcounis of their children Pollux and Helen. Other 
love passages, upon which narratives depend, concern lo, Callisto, 
Europa, Semele, /Kgina, and Antiope, 

§ 59. lo ^ was of divine ancestry. Her father was the river-god 
Inachus, son of Oceanus. It is said that Juno, one day, perceiving 
the skies suddenly overcast, surmised that her husband had raised 
a cloud to hide some escapade. She brushed away the darkness, 
and saw him, on the banks of a glassy river, with a beautiful heifer 
standing near. Juno suspected, with reason, that the heifer's form 




concealed some fair nymph of mortal mould. It was lo, whom 
Jupiter, when he became aware of the approach of his wife, had 
changed into that form. 

The ox-eyed goddess joined her husband, noticed the heifer, 
praised its beauty, and asked whose it was, and of what herd. 
Jupiter, to stop questions, replied that it was a fresh creation from 
the earth. Juno begged it as a gift. What could the king of gods 
and men dr>? He was loath to surrender his sweetheart to his 
wife ; yet how refuse so trifling a present as a heifer? He could 
not, without exciting suspicion ; and he, therefore, consented. The 
goddess delivered the heifer to Argus, to be strictly watched. 

Now Argus had a hundred eyes in his head, and never went 



1 Ovid, Nf etani. x : 700 et uq. 



MYTHS OF THE GREAT DIVINITIES OF HEAVEN • 93 



to sleep with more than two at a time^ so that he kept watch of 
lo constantly. He stifTered her to graze through the day, and at 
night tied a rope round her neck. She would have stretched out 
her arms to implore freedom of Argus, but that she had no arms 
to stretch out, and her voice was a bellow. She yearned in vain 
to make herself known to her father At length she bethought 
herself of writing, and inscribed her name — it was a short one — 
with her hoof on the sand. Inachus recognized it, and discovering 
that his daughter, whom he had long sought in vain, was hidden 
under this disguise, mourned over her. While he thus lamented, 
Argus, observing, drove her away, and took his seat on a bank, 
from whence he could see in every direction. 

Jupiter, grieved by the sufferings of his mistress, sent Mercury 
to despatch Argus. Mercury took his sleep-producing wand, and 
presented himself on earth as a shepherd driving his flock. As 
he strolled, he blew upon his syrinx or Pandaean pipes. Argus 
listened with delight. "Young man," said he, ''come and take a 
seat by me on this stone. There is no better place for your flock 
to graze in than hereabouts, and here is a pleasant shade such 
as shepherds love.** Mercury sat down, talked, told stories till it 
grew late, and played upon his pipes his most soothing strains, hop- 
ing to lull the watchful eyes to sleep, but in vain ; for Argus still 
contrived to keep some of his eyes open, though he shut the rest. 

But among other stories, Mercury told him how the instrument 
on which he played was invented. " There was a certain nymph," 
said he. "whose name was Syrinx, — much beloved by the satyrs 
and spirits of the wood. She would have none of them, but was a 
faithful worshipper of Diana, and followed the chase. Pan, meet- 
ing her one day, wooed her with many compliments, likening her 
to Diana of the silver bow. Without stopping to hear him, she ran 
away. But on the bank of the river he overtook her. She called 
for help on her friends, the water-nymphs. They heard and con- 
sented. Pan threw his arras around what he supposed to be the 
form of the nymph, and found he embraced only a luft of reeds. 
As he bre«thod a sigh, the air sounded through the reeds, and 



9f CLASSIC MYTHS IN ENGLISH LITERATURE. 

produced a plaintive melody. Whereupon, the god, charmed with 
the novelty, and with the sweetness of the music, said, ' Thus, 
then, at least, you shall be mine.' Taking some of the reeds, oi 
unequal lengths, and placing them together, side by side, he made 
an instnimcnt and called it Syrinx, in honor of the nymph." 
Before Mercury had finished his story he saw the eyes of Argus all 
asleep. At once he slew him, and set lo free. The eyes of Argus 
Juno took and scattered as ornaments on the tail of her peacock, 
where they remain to this day. 

But the vengeance of Juno was not yet satiated. She sent a 
gadfly to torment lo, who, in her flight, swam through the sea, 
named after her, Ionian. Afterward, roaming over many lands, 
she reached at last the banks of the Nile. Then Jupiter inter- 
ceded for her; and upon his engaging not to pay her any further 
attention, Juno consented to restore her lo her form. 

In a poem dedicated to Leigh Hunt, by Keats, the following 
allusion to the story of Pan and Syrinx occurs : — 

"So did he feci who pulled the boughs aside, 
Tbftt we might look into a forest wide, . . . 
Telling us how fair trembling Syrinx fled 
Arcadian Pan, with such a fearful dread. 
Poor nymph — poor Pan — how he did weep to find 
Nought but a lovely sighing of the wind 
Along the reedy stream; a half-heard strain. 
Full rS sweet desolation, balmy pain." 

§ 60. Callisto of Arcadia was another maiden who excited the 
jealousy of Juno. Her, the goddess changed into a bear. Often, 
frightened by the dogs, Callisto, though lately a huntress, fled in 
terror from the hunters. Often, too, she fled from the wild beasts, 
forgetting that she was now a wild beast herself; and bear, as she 
was, she feared the bears. 

One day a youth espied her as he was hunting. She saw hitn, 
and recognized him as her son .Xrcas, grown to manhood. She 
stopped and felt inclined to embrace him. He, alarmed, raised 
his hunting-spear, and was on the |X)int of transfixing her, but 









MYTHS Of- THE CHEAT DIVINITIES OF HEAVEN- 95 



H Jupiter arrested the crime, and snatching away both o\ thctHj 
placed them in the heavens as the Great and Little Bear. 
Juno, enraged at seeing her rival so bet in honor, hastened lu 

I ancient Tethys and Oceanus, and, complaining that she was sup- 
planted in Heaven, cried, *'So do my punishments result — such 
is the extent of my power ! I forbade her to wear human form, 
— she and her hateful son are placed among the stars. Better 
that she should have resumed her former shape, as I permitted lo 
to do. Perhaps my husband means to take her to wife, and put 
me away ! But you, my foster-parents, if you feel for me, and sec 
with displeasure this unworthy treatment of me, show it, I beseech 
you, by forbidding this guilty couple from coming into your 
H waters." The powers of the Ocean assented, and consequently 
™ the two constellations of the Great and Little Bear move round 
and round in the neighborhood of the pole, but never sink, as do 

■ the other stars, beneath the Ocean.' 
§ 6x. Europa was the daughter of Agenor, king of Phoenicia, 
son of the god Neptune. The story of Jupiter's love for her is 
thus told by the idyllic poet, Moschus : — 



To Europa, princos of Asia, once on a time, a sweet dream was sent by 
Cyprift, when the thir<l watch of the ntght sets in, and near is the dawning; 
when &1cep more sweet than hnney rests on the eyelids, timb-loost^ning sleep, 
that hinds the eyes with his strft band, when the tluck uf crulfaful dreams fares 
wandering. - . . 

Then she beheld two continents at strife for her sake, Asia uid the further 
shore, both in the shape of women. Of these one had the guise of a stranger, 
the other of a lady nf that Und, and closer still she clung about her maiden, 
and kept saying how she was her mother, and herself had nursed Europa. 
But that other with mighty hands, and forcefully, kept haling the maiden, 
nothing loth; declaring that, by the will of xgis*l>earing Jupiter, Europa was 
destined to be her prize. 

But Europa leaped forth from her strown bed in terror, with l>cating 
heart, in such clear vision had she beheld the lirearo. . . . And she said, ** Ah I 
who was the alien woman that I beheld in my sleep? Mow strange a longing 
for her seized my heart, yea, and how graciously she herself did welcome mc, 
and regard mc as it had been her own child! Ye blessed gods, I pray you, 
prosper the fultilment of the dream ! " 

1 Ovid, Metam. a : 410 ^f ir^. 



96 



CLASSIC MYTHS IN ENGLISH UTERA TUHE. 



Therewith she arose, and began to seek the dear maidens of her company, 
girls of like age with heraelf. born in Che same year, beloved of her heart, the 
daughters of noble sires, with whom, she was always uout to sport, when ^e 
was arrayed for the dance, or when she wuuld bathe her bright body at the 
mouths of the rivers, or would gatlirr fragrant lilies on the leas. . , . 

Now the girls, so soon as they were cume to the flowering meadows, took 
great delight in various sorts of flowers, whereof one would pluck, sweet- 
breathed narcissus, another the hyacinth, anothtT the violet, a fourth the 
creeping thyme; and on the giound there fell many petals of the meadovn 
rich with spring. Others, again, were eroulously gathering the fragrant tressei 
of the yellow crocus; hut in the midst of them all the princess culled with 
her hand the splendor of the crimson rose, and shone preeminent among them 
all like the foam-born goddess among the Graces. Verily, she was not for 
long to set her heart's dehght upon the Rowers. . . . For of a truth, the son 
of Cronus, so soon as he beheld her, was troubled, and his heart was subdued 
by the sudden shafls uf C>pris, who alone can conquer even Jupiter. There- 
fore, both to avoid the wrath of jealous Juno, and being eager to beguile the 
maiden's tender heart, he concealed his godhead, and changed his shape, and 
became a hull. . . . 

He came into the meadow, and his coming territied not the maidens, nay, 
within them all wakened desire to draw nigh the lovely bull, and to touch 
him, and his heavenly fragrance was scattered afar, exceeding even the swecl 
perfume of the meadows. And he stood l>efore the feet of fair Kuropa, and 
kept licking her neck, and cast his spell over the maiden. And she still 
caressed him, and gently with her hands she wiped away the deep foam from 

his lips, and kissed the bull. Then he lowed 
so gently, ye would think ye heard the Myg- 
donian flute uttering a dulcet sound. 

He bowed himself before her feet, and, 
bending back his neck, he gazed on Europt, 
anil showed her his broad back. Then 
she spake among her deep-tressed maidens, 
sajing, — 

"Come, dear playmalcs, maidens of like 
age with me, let us mount the hull here and 
take our pastime, for truly, he will hear as 
on his back, and carry all of us! And how mild he is, and dear, and gentle 
to behold, and no whit like other hulls! A mind as honest as a man's po»* 
sesaes him, and he lacks nothing hut speech." 

So she spake, and smiling, she sat down on the back of the bull, and the 
others were about to follow her. But the bull leaped up immediately, now he 




I 



GREAT VIVimriKS Of HEAVBN. 

had goKeo her that he desired, and iwiftly he tped to the deep. The maiden 
turned, and called again and again to her dear playmates, stretching out her 
bands, but they uould nut reach her. 'lite strand he gained, and forward he 
sped like a dolphin, faring with unwcttcd hooves over the wide waves. And 
the sea, as he came, grew smooth, and the sea-monsters gambolled around, 
before the feet of Jupiter; and the dolphin rejoiced, and rising from the deepK, 
he tumbled on the swell of the sea. The Nereids arose out of the salt water, 
and all of them came on in orderly arraVi riding on the backs of sca-l)eastA. 
And himself, the thunderous shaker of the world, appeared above the sea, and 
made smooth the wave, and guided his brother un the salt sea-path, and round 
him were gathered the Tritons, these hoarse trumpeters of the deep, blowing 
from their lung conchs a bridal melody. 

Meanwhile Europa, riding un the back of the divine bull, with one hand 
clasped the beast's great horn, and with the other caught up the purple fold 
of her garment, lest it might trail and be wet in the hoar sea's infinite spray. 
And her deep robe was swelled out by the winds, like the sail of a ship, and 
lightly still did waft the maiden onward. But when she was now far off from 
her own country, and neither sea-beat headland nor steep hill could now be 
seen, but abuvc, the air, and beneath, the limitless deep, timidly she looked 
around, and uttered her voice, saying,— 

"Whither bcarcst thou me, bull-god? What art thou? How dost thou 
fare on thy feet through the path of the sea-beasts, nor fcarest the sea? The 
sea is a path meet for swift ships that traverse the brine, but bulls dread the 
salt sea-ways. What drink is swert to thee, what food shalt thou find from 
the deep? Nay. art thou then some god, for godlike are these deeds of 
thine." . . . 

So spake she. and the horned bull made answer to her again: **Take 
courage, maiden, and dread not the swell of the deep. Behold, I am Jupiter, 
even 1, though, cloudy beheld, I wear the form of a bull, for I can put on the 
semblance of what thing [ will. But 'tis love of thee that has compelled me 
to measure out so great a «pacc of the salt sea, in a hull's shape. So Crete 
shall presently receive thee, Crete that was mine own foster-mother, where thy 
bridal chamber shall he." ' 



According to tradition, from this princess the continent of 
Europe acquired its name. Her three sons are famous in Greek 
myth : Minos, who became king of Crete, and after his death a 
judge in the lower world ; Rhadamanthus, who was also regarded 



' Tran«lflt'^d by Andrew Lang 
1880. 



Theocriiui. Bion. and Moscfaus, London. 



9B CLASS/C MYTHS m ENGUSH LITERATURE. 

as king and judge in the world of ghosts ; and Sarpedon, who was 
ancestor of the Lyciaiis. 

The adventures of Europa's brother Cadmus, who by the com- 
mand of his father went forth in quest of the lost maiden, fall 
under the myths of Mare.' 

§ 62. Semele was the daughter of Cadmus, founder of Thebes. 
She was descended, through both parents, from the gods ; for 
her mother Harmonia was daughter to Mars and the laughter- 
loving Venus. To Semele Jupiter had appeared, and had paid 
court in unostentatious manner and simple guise. But Juno, to 
gratify her resentment againbt this new rival for her lord's affec- 
tions, contrived a plan for her destruction. Assuming the form 
of Beroe, the aged nurse of Semele, she insinuated doubts whetlier 
it was indeed Jove himself who came as a lover. Heaving a 
sigh, she said, " I hope it will turn out so, but I can't help being 
afraid. People are not always what they pretend to be. If he 
is indeed Jove, make him give some proof of it. Ask him to 
come arrayed in all liis splendors, such as he weare in Heaven, 
That will put the matter beyond a doubt." Semele was persuaded 
to try the experiment. She asks a favor, without naming what it 
is. Jove gives his promise, and confirms it with the irrevocable 
oath, attesting the river Styx, terrible to the gods themselves. 
Then she made known her request. The god would have stopped 
her as she spake, but she was too quick for him. The words 
escaped, and he could neither unsay his promise nor her request. 
In deep distress he left her, and returned to the upper regions. 
There he clothed himself in his splendors, not putting on all his 
terrors, as when he overthrew the giants, hut what is known among 
the gods as his lesser panoply. With thunders and lightnings 
he entered the chamber of Semele. Her mortal frame could not 
endure the splendors of the immortal radiance. She was con- 
sumed to ashes.' Her son was the god Bacchus.* Semele, in the 
blissful scats of Heaven, whither she was transported by the sor- 



I70. 



^ Ovid. Melam. 3 : a6o et st^. 



* \^ 46, iaa-t04. 




MYTHS OF THE GREAT DrvWlTIES OF HEAVEN. 99 

wful Jove, has been represented as recounting thus the story of 
kcr doom : — 

"Whit were the gardcn-bowcrs of Thehcs to me? 
What cared I for their dances and their fea»ta, 
MTboflc heart awaited an immortal doom? 
The Greek youths mocked me, since I shunned in scorn 
Them and their praises of my brows and hair. 
The light girls pointed after me, who turned 
SoaUaick from their unending fooleries. . . . 

"There came a change: a glory fell to me. 
No more 'twas Scmcle, the lonely girl, 
But Jupiter's Beloved. Scmelc. 
With human arms the god came clasping me: 
New life streamed from his presence; and a voice, 
That scarce could curb itself lo the smooth tireek, 
Now and anon swept forth in those deep nights* 
Thrilling my flesh with awe; mysterious words — 
t knew not what; hints of unearthly things 
That I had felt on solemn summer nuons, 
When sleeping Earth dreamed raustc, and the heart 
Went crooning a low sung it could not learn, 
But wandered over it, as one who gropes 
For a forgotten chord upon a lyre. 

"Yea, Jupiter! But why this mortal guise, 
Wooing as if he were a milk-faced boy? 
Did I lack lovers? Was my beauty dulled. 
The golden hair turned dross, Ih^ lithe limbs shrunk? 
The deathless longings tamed, that I should seethe 
My soul in love like any shepherd girl? 

One night he s\vare to grant whate'cr I asked : 
And straight 1 cried, 'To know thee as thou art! 
To hold thee on my heart as Juno does! 
Come in thy thunder — kill me with one fierce 
Divine embrace! — Thint oath! — Now, Earth, at last!' 

"The Heavens shot one swift sheet of lurid flame; 
The world crashed: from a body scathed and torn 
The loul leapt through, and found hts breast, and died 
•Died?* — So the Theban maidens think, and Uugh, 



100 



CLASSIC MYTHS IN ENGLISH LITERATURE. 



Saying, * She had her wish, that Semcle 1 * 

fiul silting here upon Olympus' height, 

1 look down, through that oval ring of stars. 

And see the far-alT Earth, a twinkling speck — 

Oust>mutc whirled up from the biun's chariot wheel — 

And pity their small hearts that hold a man 

As if be were a gud; or know the god — 

Or dare to know him — only as a man! 

O human love! art thou forever blind?*** 

§ 63. JBgina. — The extent to which those who were concerned 
only indirectly in Jupiter's love affairs might yet be involved in 
the consequences of them, is illustrared by the fortunes of .^gina. 
This maiden, the daughter of Asopus, a river-god, attracted the 
attention of Jupiter, who straightway ran off with her. Now, on 
the one hand, Sisyphus, king of Corinth, having witnessed the 
mlrigue, was indiscreet enough to disclose it. Forthwith the ven- 
geance of the king of gods and men fell upon him. He was con- 
demned to Hades, and attempting to escape thence, had resort 
to a series of deceptions that resulted in his eternal punishment.* 
On the other hand, the inhabitants of the island that had the mis- 
fortune to bear /Egina'sname incurred the displeasure of Juno, who 
devastated their land with a plague. The following account of this 
calamity is placed in the mouth of --Eacus, king of the island :* — 

"At the beginning the sky seemed to settle down upon the 
earth, and thick clouds shut in the heated air. For four months 
together a deadly south wind prevailed. The disorder affected 
the wells and springs. Thousands of snakes crept over the land, 
and shed their poison in the fountains. The force of the disease 
was first spent on the Jower animals, — dogs, cattle, sheep, and 
birda. The oxen fell in the midst of their work. The wool 
dropped from the bleating sheep. The horse groaned at his stall, 
and died an inglorious death. Everj'thing languished ; dead bodies 
lay in the roads, the fields, and the woods ; the air was poisoned 
by them. Next the disease attacked the country people, and then 

' From E. R. Sill's Semelc. '• Commentary, \\v^; \ 175. 

■ Ovid, Meiam. 7: 17a tt uq. 




MYTHS OP THE GREAT DiViUflTIES OF HEAVES 101 

the dwellers in the city. At first the cheelc was flushed, and the 
breath drawn with difficulty. The tongue grew rough and swelled, 
and the dry mouth stood open, with its veins enlarged, and gasped 
for the air. Men could not bear the heat of the'rr clothes or their 
beds, but preferred to lie on the bare ground. Nor could the 
physicians help, for the disease attacked them also. At last men 
learned to look upon death as the only deliverer from disease. 
All restraint laid aside, they crowded round the wells and foun- 
tains, and drank, without quenching thirst, till they died. On all 
sides lay my people strewn like over-ripened apples beneath the 
tree, or acorns under the storm-shaken oak. You see yonder a 
temple on the height. It is sacred to Jupiter, Often, while the 
priest made ready for sacrifice, the victim fell, struck down by 
disease without waiting for the blow. At lengtli all reverence for 
sacred things was lost. Bodies were thrown out unburied, wood 
was wanting for funeral piles, men fought with one another for the 
possession of them. Finally there were none left to mourn ; sons 
and husbands, old men and youths, perished alike unlamented. 

" Standing before the altar, I raised my eyes to Heaven. 'O 
Jupiter,' I said, ' if thou art indeed my father, give me back ray 
people, or take me also away ! ' At these words a clap of thunder 
was heard, * I accept the omen,' I crie*i. By chance there grew 
by the place where 1 stood an oak with widespreadlng branches, 
sacred to Jupiter. I observed on it a troop of ants busy with their 
labor. Observing their numbers with admiration, I said, 'Give 
mc, oh, father, citizens as numerous as these, and ret»lenish my 
empty city.* The tree shook, and the branches rustled, though 
no wind agitated them. Night came on. The tree stood before 
me in my dreams, with its numerous branches all covered with 
living, moving creatures, which, falling (o the ground, appeared to 
gain in size, and by-and-by to stand erect, and Anally to assume 
the human form. Then I awoke. My attention was caught by 
the sound of many voices without. While I began to think I was 
yet dreaming, Telamon, my son, throwing open the temple-gates, 
exclaimed, ' Father, approach, and behold things surpassing even 




102 



CLASS/C MYThH fN ENGtJSH U rEHATVHE. 



your hopes ! * I weji* fcrfli ; I saw a multitude of men, such as I 
had seen in ray dream. While I gazed with wonder and delight, 
they approached^ an3 kneeling hailed me as their king. I paid 
my vows to /"ovfr, and proceeded to allot the vacant city to the 
new-bom rac^.- " I called them Myrmidons from the ant intyrmex)^ 
from which* they sprang. They are a diligent and industrious race, 
eager lo gam, and tenacious of their gains." 

Th? Myrmidons were the soldiers of Achilles, the grandson of 
King ACacus, in the Trojan War. 

§ 64. Antlope was, according to the Odyssey, another daughter 
of Asopus, therefore a sister of yEgina. But later poets make 
this darling of Jove daughter of Nyctcus, king of Thebes. While 
she was engaged in the Maenad dances, Jupiter as a satyr, wooed 
and won her. She bore him two sons, Amphion and Zethus, who, 
being exposed at birth on Mount Cithaeron, grew up among the 
shepherds, not knowincr their parentage. After various adventures 
Antiope fell into the hands of her uncte Lycus, the usurping king 
of Thebes, who, egged on by his wife Dirre, treated her with 
extreme cruelty. Finally, when doomed by Dirce to be dragged 
to death behind a bull, Antiope found means to inform her chil- 
dren of her kinship to them. As it happened, they had been 
ordered to execute the cruel sentence upon their mother. But 
with a band of their fellow- herdsmen, they attacked and slew 
Lycus instead, and, tying Dirce by the hair of her head to a bull, 
let her perish by her own device.' 

While among the herdsmen, AmpMon had been the special care 
of Mercury, who gave him a lyre and taught him to play upon it. 
His brother Zethus had occupied himself in htmting and tending 
the flocks. Amphion, himself, is one of the most famous of mythi- 
cal musicians. Having become king of Thebes, it is said that 
when he played on his lyre, stones moved of their own accord, 
and took their places in the wall, with which he was fortifying the 
city. 

I Roscher, L%. 3: 379 (Schirmer). OrigiiwU in Pausaniu, Apollodoms ukI 
HTginut. 



ICH 



CLASSIC MYTHS !N ENGLISH LITERATURE, 



Young ashes pirouetted down 

Coquetting with young beeches; 
And briony'Vine and ivy-wreath 

Kan forward to hii rhyming, 
And from the valleys underneath 

Came little copses climbing. 

The linden broke her ranks and rent 

The woodbine wreaths that bind her, 
And down the miidclle, buzz! she went 

With all her bees behind her: 
The poplars, in lung order due. 

With cypress promenaded, 
The shock-bead willows, two and two, 

By rivers gallupadcd. 

Came wet-shot alder from the wave, 

Came yews, a dismal coterie; 
Each plucked his one Toot from the grafe. 

Pouuetting with a sloc-lree : 
Old elms came breaking from the vine, 

The vine streamed out to follow, 
And, sweating rosin, plumped the pine 

From many a cloudy hollow. 

And wasn't it a sight to sec, 

Wlicn, ere his song was ended. 
Like some great landslip, tree by tree* 

The country-side descended; 
And shepherds from the mountain-eaves 

Looked down, half-pleased, half-frightened« 
As dashed about the drunken leaves 

The random sunshine lightened.' 

The musician's life was, however, not all harmony and happi- 
ness. Owing to the pride of his wife, Niobe, daughter of King 
Tantalus, there befell him and his house a crushing calamity, which 
is narrated among the exploits of Apollo and Diana.* 



1 From Tennyson's Amphloo. 



See Horace, An PoM., 394. 



YTHS OF THE CHEAT DJViNITIES Of HEAVEN. 105 



P 

■ S 65. The kindly interest evinced by the Thunderer toward 

H mortals is displayed in the story of 

H Baucis and Ptulemon. — Once on a time, Jupiter^ in human 

shape, visited the land of Phrygia, and with him Mercury, without 
his wings. They presented themselves as weary travellers at many 
a door, seeking rest and shelter, but found all closed ; for it was 
late, and the inhospitable inhabitants would not rouse themselves 
to open for their reception. At last a small thatched cottage 
received them, where Baucis, a pious old dame, and her husband 
Philemon had grown old together. Not ashamed of their poverty, 
they made it endurable by moderate desires and kind dispositions. 
When the two guests crossed the humble threshold, and bowed 
their heads to pass under the low door, the old man placed a seal, 
on which Baucis, bustling and attentive, spread a cloth, and begged 
them to sit down. Then she raked out the coals from the ashes, 
kindled a fire, and prepared some pot-herbs and bacon for them. 
A beechen bowl was filled with warm water, that their guests might 
wa£h. While all was doing, they beguiled the time with conver- 
sation. 

The old woman with trembling hand set the table. One leg was 
shorter than the rest, but a piece of slate put under restored the 

I level. When it was steady, she rubbed the table down with sweet- 
smelling herbs. Upon it she set some of chaste Minerva's olives, 
some cornel berries preserved in vinegar, and added radishes and 
cheese, with eggs lightly cooked in the ashes. The meal was served 
in earthen dishes ; and an earthen-ware pitcher, with wooden cups, 
stood beside them. \\Tien all was ready, the stew, smoking hot, 
was set on the table. Some wine, not of the oldest, was added ; 

I and for dessert, apples and wild honey. 
Now while the repast proceeded, the old folks were astonished 
to see that the wine, as fast as it was poured out, renewed itself in 
the pitcher, of its own accord. Struck with terror, Baucis and 
Philemon recognized their heavenly guests, fell on their knees, 
and with clasped hands implored forgiveness for their poor enter- 
tainment. There was an old goose, which they kept as the guar- 



106 



CIMSSfC VK7W5 AV ENGLISH UTEkATUHE, 



dian of their hurable cottage, aad they bethought them to make 
this a sacrifice in honor of their guests. But the goose, too nimble 
for the old folks, with the aid of feet and wings eluded their pur- 
suit, and at last took shelter between the gods themselves. They 
forbade it to be slain, and spoke in these words : *' We are gods. 
This inhospitable village shall pay the penalty of its impiety; you 
alone shall go free from the chastisement. Quit your house, and 
come with us to the top of yonder hill." They hastened to obey. 
The country behind them \vas speedily sunk in a lake, only their 
own house left stamling. While they gazed with wonder at the 
sight, that old house of theirs was changed. Columns took the 
place of the corner posts, the thatch grew yellow and appeared a 
gilded roof, t!ic floors became marble, the doors were enriched 
with carving and ornaments of gold. Then spoke Jupiter in benig- 
nant accents : ** Excellent old man, and woman worthy of such a 
husband, speak, tell us your wishes. What flvvor have you to ask 
of us?" Philemon took counsel with Baucis a few moments, then 
declared to the gods their common wish. "We ask to be priests 
and guardians of this thy temple, and that one and the same 
hour may take us both from Hfe." Their prayer was granted. 
When they had attained a great age, as they stood one day before 
the steps of the sacred edifice, and were telling the story of the 
place, Baucis saw Philemon begin to put forth leaves, and Philemon 
saw Baucis changing in like manner. While still they exchanged 
parting words, a leafy crown grew over their heads. " Farewell, 
dear spouse," they said together, and at the same moment the 
bark closed over their mouths. The Tyanean shepherd still shows 
the two trees, — an oak and a linden, standing side by side.* 

The story of Baucis and Philemon has been imitated by Swift, 
in a burlesque style, the actors in the change being two wandering 
saints, and the house being changed into a church, of which 
Philemon is made the parson : — 

. . . They Karce had spoke, when, fair and soft, 
The roof began to mount aloft; 

' Orld, Metam. B ; 690-724. 



MYTHS Of THE GREAT ViyiNlTiES OF HEAVES, 107 



Aloft rose every beam and rafter; 

The heavy wall climbed slowly after. 

The chimney widened and grew higher, 

Became a steeple with a spire. 

The kettle to the top was hoist. 

And there stood fastened to a joist. 

But with the upside down, to show 

Its inclination for below; 

In vain, for a superior force, 

Applied at bottom* stops its course; 

Doomed ever in suspense to dwell. 

Tis now no kettle, but a bell. 

A wooden jack, which had almost 

Lost by disuse thp art to roast, 

A sudden alteration fecls^ 

Increased by new intestine wheels; 

And, what exalts the wonder more, 

The number made the motion slower; 

The flier, though't had leaden feet, 

Turned round so quick you scarce could teeH ; 

Bui slackened by some secret power. 

Now hardly moves an inch an hour. 

The jack and chimney, near allied. 

Had never left each other's side. 

The chimney to a steeple grown. 

The jack would not be left alone; 

But up against the steeple reared, 

Became a clock, and still adhered; 

And still its love to household cares 

By a shrill voice at noon declares. 

Warning the couk-mald nut tu burn 

That roost meat which it cannot turn. 

The groaning chair began to crawl. 

Like a huge snail, along the wall; 

There stuck aloft in public view, 

And with small change, a pulpit grew. 

A bedstead of the antique mode. 

Compact of timber many a load, 

Sncb as our ancestors did use. 

Waa metamorphosed into pews, 

Which still their ancient nature keep 

By lodging folks diipoaed to sleep. 



Classic MYTHS m ENGIISH iiTSRATURM 




66. Juno*8 Best Gift. — What the qticen of heaven deemeil 
the greatest blessing reserved for mortals is narrated in the beauti- 
ful myth of Kiton and CIcobis. One Cydippe, an ancient priestess 
of the white-armed goddess, had desired to behold the famous 
new statue of Hera at Argos. Her sons testified their affection 
for their mutluT, by yoking themselves, since no oxeu were at 
hand, to her chariot, and so dragging her through heat and dust 
many a weary league till they reached the temple, where stood the 
gold and ivory master-work of PolycUtus. With admiration the 
devoted priestess and her pious sons were received by the popu- 
lace crowding round the statue. The priest officiating in the 
solemn rites thought meet that so reverend a worshipper should 
herself approach the goddess, — ay, should ask of Hera some 
blessing on her faithful sons : — 

. . . Slowly old Cydippe rose and cried: 

* Hera, w}to&e priestess I have been and am. 
Virgin an<l matron, at whose angry eyes 
Zcut trembles, and the windless plain of heaven 
With hyperborean echoes rings and roars, 
Remembering thy dread nuptials, a wise god. 
Golden and white in thy new-carven shape, 
Hear me ! and grant for these niy pious sons. 
Who saw my tears, and M'ound their tender amis 
Around me, and kissed mc calm, and since no steer 
Stayed in the hyrc, dragged out the chariot old, 
And wore themselves the galling yoke, and brought 
Their mother to the feast of her desire, 
Grant them, O Hero, thy best gift of gifts! ' 

Whereat the statue from its jewelled eyes 

Lightened, and thmutirr ran from cload to cloud 

In Heaven, and the vast company was hushed. 

But when they sought for Oeobis, behold, 

He lay there still, and by his brother's side 

Lay iiiton, smiling through ambrosial curls. 

And when the people touched them they were dead.^ 

1 From the Sons of Cydippe, by Edmund Gosse : On Viol and Flute. 




MYTHS OF T/fE GREAT DIVrNITIES OF HEAVEN. 109 

2. M\THs OF Minerva. 

§ 67. The Contest with ITeptune. — Minerva, as we l^ave seen,' 
presided over the useful and ornamental arts, both those of men 
— such as agriculture and navigation — and those of women — 
spinning, weaving, and needie-vvurk. She was also a warlike 
divinity, but favored only defensive warfare. With Mars' savage 
love of violence and bloodshed she, therefore, had no syrapatliy. 
Athens, her chosen seat, her own city, was awarded to her as the 
prize of a peaceful contest with Neptune, who also aspired to it. 



4» 



In the reign of Cecrops, the first king of Athens, the two deities 
had conten<led for the possession of the city. The gods decreed 
that it should be awarded to the one who produced the gift most 
useful to mortals. Neptune gave the horse ; Minerva produced 
the olive. The gods awarded the city to the goddess, and after 
her Greek appellation it was named. 

Arachne. — In another contest, a mortal dared to come into 
competition with the gray-eyed daughter of Jove. This was 
Arachne, a maiden who had attained such skill in the arts of card* 
ing and spinning, of weaving and embroidery, that the Nymphs 
themselves would leave their groves and fountains to come and 

^ j{ 35 juid Commentuy. 



no 



ClASSrC MYTHS lAT ESGUSH UTERATVRE. 



gaze upon her work. It was not only beautiful whea it was done, 

but beautiful also in the doing. To watch her one would have 
said that Mincn-a herself had taught her. But this she denied, and 
could not bear to be thought a pupil even of a goddess. " Let 
Minerva try her skill with mine," said she. " If beaten, I will pay 
the penalty." Miner\'a heard this, and was displeased. Assuming 
the form of an old wonoanj she appeared to Arachne, and kindly 
advised her to challenge her fellow-mortals if she would, but at 
once to ask forgiveness of the goddess. Arachne bade the old 
dame to keep her counsel for others. " I am not afraid of the 
goddess ; let her try her skill, if she dare venture." " She comes," 
said Minerva, and dropping her disguise, stood confessed. The 
Nymphs bent low in homage, and all the bystanders paid rever- 
ence. Arachne alone was unterrified. A stidden color dyed her 
cheek, and then she grew pale ; but she stood to her resolve, and 
rushed on her fate. They proceed to the contest. Each takes 
her station, and attaches the web to the beam. Then the slender 
shuttle is passed in and out among the threads. The reed with 
its fine teeth strikes up the woof into its place, and compacts the 
web. Wool of Tynan dye is contrasted with that of other colors, 
shaded off into one another so adroitly that the joining deceives 
the eye. And the effect is like the bow whose long arch tinges 
the heavens, formed by sunbeams reflected from the shower,^ in 
which, where the colors meet they seem as one, but at a little 
distance from the point of contact are wholly dilTerent. 

Minerva wrought on her web the scene of her contest with 
Neptune. Twelve of the heavenly powers were represented, Jupi- 
ter, with august gravity, sitting in the midst. Neptune, the ruler 
of the sea, held his trident, and appeared to have just smitten the 
Earth, from which a horse had leaped forth. The bright-eyed 
goddess depicted herself with helmed head, her segis covering 
her breast, as when she had created the olive-tree, with its berries 
and its dark green leaves. 

1 From Ovid. 



J 



MYTHS OF THE GREAT VIVIN/TJES OF HEAVE J^. HI 



Amongst tboc leaves ihc made a Butterfly, 
With excelleni ilcvice and wondrous slight. 

Fluttering among the olives wantunly. 
That seemed to live, so like it was in sight; 

The velvet nap which on his wings doth lie, 
The silken down with which bis hack is dight, 

His broad outstretched horns, his haiiy thighs, 

His glorious colors, and his glistening eyes. 

Which when Arachiie saw, as overlaid 
And mastered with workmanship si> rare, 

She stood astonished long, ne aught gainsaid; 
And with fast-fixed eyes on her did slarr.' 

So wonderful was the central circle of Minerva's web ; and in 
the four corners were represenletl incidents illustrating the dis- 
pleasure of the gods at such presumptuous mortals as had dared to 
contend with them. These were meant as warnings from Minerva 
to her rival to give up the contest befure it was too late. 

But Arachne did not yield. She filled her web with subjects 
designedly chosen to exhibit the failings and errors of the gods. 
One scene represented Leda caressing the swan; and another, 
Danac and the golden shower. Still another depicted Europa 
deceived by Jupiter under the disguise of a bull. Its appearance 
was that of a real bull, so naturally was it wrought, ami so natUTal 
the water in which it swam. 

With such subjects Arachne filled her canvas, wonderfully well 
done, but strongly marking her presumption and impiety. Minerva 
could not forbear to admire, yet was indignant at the insult. She 
struck the web with her shuttle, and rent it in pieces ; then, touch- 
ing the forehead of Arachne, she made her realize her guilt. It 
was more than mortal could bear; and forthwith Arachne hanged 
herself. "Live, guilty woman," said Minerva, "but that ihou 
mayest preserve the memory of this lesson continue to hang, both 
thou and thy descendants, to all future times." Then, sprinkling 
her with the juices of aconite, the goddess transformed her into a 
spider, forever spinning the thread by which she is suspended.* 



1 From Spenser's Mulopotmos. 



* Ovid, Metam. 6: 1-X45. 





CLASSIC MYTHS IN KNGUSH UTEMATVME, 

3- Myths of Mars. 

§ 68. The relations of Mars to other deiiies may be best illus* 
trated by passages from the Iliad, which, generally speaking, pre- 
sents him in no very favorable light. 

Mars and Diomede. — In the war of the Greeks and the Trojans/ 
the cause of the former was espoused by Minerva, of the tatter 
by Mars. Among the chieftains of the 
Greeks in a certain battle, Diumede, son 
of Tydcus, was prominent. Now when 
Mars, scourge of mortals, beheld noble 
l>iomede, he made straight at him. 

. . . And when they were curae nigh in onset on one 
another, lir&t Mars (hnist over the yoke and horses' 
reins with &pcar uf bronze, eager to take away his 
life. But the bright-eyed goddess Minerva with her 
hand seized the spear, and thrust it up over the car, 
to spend itself in vain. Next Dinmede of the loud 
war-cry attacked with spear of brunze; and Minerva 
flrave it home against Mars' nclhcrmust belly, where 
his taslets were girt about him. There smute he him 
and wounded him, rending through his fair skin, — 
and plucked furth the spear again. Then brazen 
Mars bellowed louti as nine thousand warrior* or 
ten thousand cry in battle as they join in strife and 
fray. Tliereat trcmhling gat huld of Achxans and 
Trojans for fear, %\> mightily bellowed Mars insatiate 
of battle. 

Even as gtuomy mist appeareth from the clouds when after heat a stormy 
wind ariseth, even so to Tydcus* son Diomede brazen Mars appeared amid 
clouds, faring to wide Heaven. SwiAly came he to the gods* dwelling, steep 
Olympus, and sat beside Jupiter, son of Cronus, with grief at heart, and 
showed the imm^irtal hlood flowing from the wound, and pileously spake to 
him winged words: " Father Jupiter, hast thou no indignation to behold these 
violent deeds? For ever cruelly suffer we gods by one another*! devices, in 
shoMnng men grace. With thee are we all at variance, because thou didst 
b^et that reckless maiden and t>alcful, whose thought is ever of iniquitous 

1 6{ 167-170. 




MYTHS OF THE GREAT DIVINITIES OF HEAVEN. 113 

dced». For all Ibe other guds that are in Olympus hearken tu thee, and we 
arc subject every one; only her thou chastcnesl not, neither in deed nor 
word, but set(e&t her on, because this pestilent one t» thine uwn ofisprin^. 
Now hath she urged od Tydeus* son, even overweening Diomede, to rage 
furiously agai[ist the immortal gods. The Cyprian first he wounded ih close 
tight, in the wrist of her hand, and then assailed he mc, even me, with the 
might of a god. Howbeit my swift feet bare me away; else had I long 
endured anguish there amid the grisly heaps of dead, or else had lived 
Btrengtfaless frum the smitings of the spear." 

Then Jupiter the cloud-gatherer looked sternly at hiui, and said : " Kay, 
thou renegade, sit nut by me and whine. Most hateful tu nte art thim of all 
gods that dwell in Olympus; ihuu ever luvest strife and uars and battles. 
Truly thy mother's spirit is intolerable, unyielding, even Juno's; her can 1 
scarce rule with wurds. Thcrcfure I deem that by her prumpting thuu art in 
this plight. Yet will I nn longer endure to sec thee in anguish; mine ofispring 
art thou, and to nie thy mother bare thee- Rut wert thou born of any other 
god unto this violence, long ere this hadat thou been lower than the sons of 
Heaven." 

So spake be and bade ppean heal him. .\nd Paean laid assuaging drugs 
upon the wound, and healed him, seeing he was in no wise uf mortal mould. 
Even as lig juice maketh haste to thicken white milk, that \% liquid but 
curdleth speedily as a man atirrcth, even so swiftly healed he impetuous Mars. 
And Hebe bathed him, and clothed him in gracluus raitnmt, and he sate 
down by Jupiter, son of Cronus, glur)'ing in his might. 

Then fared the twain back to the mansion uf great Jupittr, even Jum> and 
MiDerra, having stayed Man, scourge of mortals, frntti \\\.s man-slaying.' 

§69. Itfars and Minerva. — It would seern that the insatiate 
son of Juno should have learned by this sad experience to avoid 
measuring arms with the fegis-bearing Minerva. Hut he renewed 
the contest at a later period in the fortunes of the Trojan War : — 

. . . Jupiter knew what was coming as he sat upun Olympus, and his heart 
within him laughed pleasantly when be beheld that strife of gods. Then no 
longer stood they asunder, for Mars, piercer of shields, began the battle and 
first made for Minerva with his hron/e spear, and spake a taunting word: 
** Wherefore, O dogfly, dost thou match gods with gods in strife, with stormy 
daring, as thy great spirit moveth thee? Rememberest thou nut huw thou 

^ Iliad 5:850. etc. Translation, Lang, Leaf, and Myers. In accordance with 
the system uf nomenclature adopted in this work. Latin equivalent* are given, 
wherever possible, for Greek numck. 




114 



CLASSIC MYT//S IN ENGUSH UTEKATURB. 



movedst Diomede, Tydeus' son, to wound ine, and thj'self didst lake i visible 
spear and thrust it straiglu at me and pierce through my fair skin? TberC' 
fore deem 1 now that thuu shall pay me for all that thou hast dune." 

Thus saying, he smote ou the dread tasoelled sL^is thai not even the 
lightning of Jupiter can overcome — ibereou smote blood-stained Mars with 
his long spear. But she, giving back, grasped with stout hand a stone that 
lay upon the plain, black, rugged, huge, which men of old time set to be the 
landmark of a ticld; this burled she, and smote impetuous Mars on the neck, 
and unstrung his liml>fl. Seven roods he covered in his fall, and sotted his 
hair with dust, and his armor rang upon him. And Miner^'a laughed, and 
spake to him winged words cxulliugly : " Fool, not even yet ha«t tliou learnt 
how far bettvfr than thou I clnim to be, that thus thou matchest thy might 
with mine. Thus shall thou satisfy thy mother's curses, who deviseth init- 
chief against thee in her wrath, for that thou hast left the Achoeans, and givest 
the proud Trojans aid." 

Thus having said, she turned from him her shining eyes. Ilim did VennSt 
daughter of Jupiter, take by the han<1 and lead away, groaning continuaUy, 
for scarce gathered he his spirit back to him.^ 



i^ 



^! 



§ 70, Toward mortals 
Mars could show himself, 
on occasion, as vindictive as 
his fair foe, the unwearied 
daughter of Jove. This fact, 
not only Cadmus, who slew 
a serpent sacred to Mars, 
but all the fatnily of Cad- 
mus found out to their cost. 
The Fortunes of Cadmus. 
— When Kuropa was carried 
away by Jnpiler in the guise 
of a bulU her father Agenor 
commanded his son Cadmus 
to go in search of her, and 
not to return without her. 
Cadmus sought long and far; then, not daring to return unsuc- 
cessfuli consulted the oracle of Apollo to know what country he 



1 Iliad fti : 3qa L-ang, Leaf, and Myers' translation. 



MYTffS OF THE GREAT DIVINITIES OF HEAVEN- US 

should settle in. 'ITic oracle informed him that he would find a 
cow in the field, should follow her wherever she might wander, 
and where she stopped should build a city and call it Thebes, 
Cadmus had hardly left the Castalian cave, from which the oracle 
was delivered, when he saw a young cow slowly walking before 
him. He followed her close, offering at the same time his prayers 
to Phoebus. The cow went on till &hc passed the shallow channel 
of Cephissns, and came out into the plain of Panope. There she 
stood still. Cadmus gave thanks, and stooping down kissed the 
foreign soil, then lifting his eyes, greeted the surrounding moun- 
tains. Wishing to offer a sacrifice to his protecting deity, Minerva, 
he sent his servants to seek pure water for a libation. Near by 
there stood an ancient grove which had never been profaned by 
the axe, in the midst of which was a cave, thick covered with the 
growth of bushes, its roof furnung a low arch, from beneath which 
hurst forth a fount;un of purest water. But in the cave lurked a 
serpent with crested head and scales glittering like gold ; his eyes 
shone like fire; his body was swollen with venom ; he vibrated a 
triple tongue, and showed a triple row of teeth. No sooner had 
the Tyrians dipped their pitchers in the fountain, and the ingush- 
ing waters had made a sounrl, than the monster, twisting his scaly 
boily in a huge coil, darted upon them and destroyed some with 
his fangs, others in his folds, and others with his poisonous breath. 
Cadmus, having waited for the return of his men till midday, 
went in search of them. When he entered the wood, and saw 
their lifeless bodies, and the dragon with his bloody jaws, not 
knowing that the serpent was sacred to Mars, scourge of mortals, 
he lifted a huge stone and threw it with all his force at the mon- 
ster. The blow made no impression. Minerva, however, was 
kresent, unseen, to aid her worshipper. Cadmus next threw his 
javelin, which penetrated the serpent's scales, and pierced through 
to his entrails. The monster attempted lo draw out the weapon 
with his mouth, but broke it off, leaving the iron point rankling in 
his flesh. His neck swelled with rage. Moody foam covered his 
jaws, and the breath of his nostrils poisoned the air around. As 




116 



CLASSIC MYTHS iN ENGUSH UTERATVRZ. 



he moved onward, Cadmus retreated before him, holding his spear 
opposite to the serpent's opened jaws. At last, watching his 
chance, the hero thrust the spear at a moment when the animar? 
head thrown back came against the trunk of a tree, and so suc- 
ceeded in pinning him to its side. 

While Cadmus stood over his conquered foe, contemplating its 
vast si^e, a voice was heard (from whence he knew not, but it was 
Minerva's) commanding him to take the dragon's teeth and sow 
them in the earth. Scarce had he done so when the clods began 
to move, and the points of spears to appear above the surface. 
Next helmets, with their nodding plumes, came up ; next, the 

a. 




shoulders and breasts and limbs of men with weapons, and in 
time a har^'cst of armed warriors. Cadmus prepared to encounter 
a new enen»y, but one of them said to him, ** Meddle not with 
our cini war." With that he who had spoken smote one of his 
earth-bom brothers with a sword, and he himself fell pierced with 
an arrow from another. The latter fell victim to a fourth, and in 
like manner the whole crowd dealt with each other till all but five 
fell slain. These five joined with Cadmus in building his city, to 
which they gave the name appointed. 

As penance for the destruction of this sacred serpent, Cadmus 
served Mars for a period of eight years. After lie ha<1 been ab- 
solved of his impiety, Minerva set him over the rt-.tlui of Thebes, 





MYTlfS OF THE CHEAT D/V/NfTlES Of HEAVES. \\\ 



and Jove gave him to wife Harmonia, the daughter of Venus and 
Mars. The gods left Olympus to honor the occasion with their 
presence ; and Vulcan presented the bride with a necklace of sur- 
passing brilliancy, his own workmanship. Of this marriage were 
born four daughters, Semele,' Ino,' Aiitoiioe,' and Agave,* and one 
son, Polydorus.' But in spile of the atonement made by Cadmus, a 
fatality hung over the family. The very necklace of Vulcan seemed 
to catch the spirit of ill-luck, and ronvey a baleful influence to 
such as wore ic Semcle, Ino, Aciaeon, the son of Auionoe, and 
Pentheus, the son of Agave, all perished by violence. Cadmus 
and Harmonia quitted Thebes^ grown odious to them, and emi- 
grated to the country of the Enthelians, who received them with 
honor, and made Cadmns iheir king. Fiut the misfortunes of their 
children still weighing upon their minds, t'admus one day ex- 
claimed, '* If a serpent's life is so dear to the gods, I would I were 
myself a serpent." No sooner had he utteretl the words than he 
began to change his form. Harmonia, beholding it, prayed the 
gods to let her share his fate. Both became serpents. It is said 
that, mindful of their origin, they neither avoid the presence of 
man, nor do they injure any one. But the curse appears not to 
have passed from their house until the sons of their great-great- 
grandson CEdipus had by fraternal strife ended themselves and 
the family." 

4. MvTHs OF Vulcan. 

§ 71. The stories of Vulcan are few, although incidents illus- 
trating his character are sufficiently numerous. According to an 
account already given, Vulcan, because of his lameness, was cast 
out of Heaven by his mother Juno. The sea-goddesses, Eurynorae 
and Thetis, took him mercifully lo themselves, and for nine years 
cared for him, while he plied his trade and gained proficiency in it. 
In order to revenge himself upon the mother who had so despite- 
fully used him, he fashioned in the depths of the sea a throne of 

1 ^ 6a. • If 103 ""*' ^'^- * \\ ®9' '**^' '°3- ^ 5^ **^'' '°3- ' ^^ 158-164. 
* Ovid, Mctam. 3 1-137 ; 4 '- 563-^*4- 




116 



CLjISS/C myths f.V EA'aUSH LITEHATURE, 



cunning device, which he sent to his mother. She gladly accepting 
the glorious gift, sat down upon it, to find out that straightway all 
manner of invisible chains and fetters wound and cloisped them- 
selves about her so that she could not rise. The assistance of the 
gods was of no avail to release her. Then Mars sought to bring 
Vulcan to Heaven by force that he might undo his trickery ; but 
before the flames of the fire-god, the impetuous warrior .speedily 
retreated. One god, however, the jovial Hacchus, was dear to the 
blacksmith. He drenched Vulcan with wine, conducted him to 
Olympus, and by persuasion caused him to set the queen of gods 
and men at liberty. 

That Vuican was not permanently hostile to Juiu) is shown by 
the services that on vajrious occasions he rendered her. He forged 
the shield of her favorite Achilles ; and, at her instance, he under- 
took a contest against the river Xanthus. Homer ' describes the 
burning of elms and willow trees and tamarisks, the parching of 
the plains, the bubbling of the waters, that signali/cU the ftght, 
and how the eels and other fish were afflicted by Vulcan till Xan- 
thus in anguish cried for quarter. 




5, Myths of Apollo. 

5 72. The myths which cluster about the name of Phcebus Apollo 
ustrate, first, his birth and the wamlerings of his mother, Latona ; 
ndly, his victory over darkness and winter ; thirdly, his gifts 
to man, — youth and vigor, the sunshine of spring and the vege- | 
tation of early summer; fourthly, his baleful influence, — the suo- 
stroke and drought of midsummer, the miasma of autumn ; fifthly, 
his life on earth, as friend and counsellor i>i mankind, — healer, 
soothsayer, and musician, prototype of manly beauty, and lover 
of beautiful women. 

The WanderingB of Latona. ^ Persecuted by the jealousy 
of the white-armed Juno, latona fled from land to land. At 
last, bearing in her arms the infant progeny of Jove, she reached 

llllad 31:335. 





> 



V 




MYTHS OF THE GREAT DrVINlTfES OF HEAVEN, 119 



Lycia, weary with her burden and parched with thirst. There the 
following adventure ensued. By chance the persecuted goddess 
espied in the bottom of the valley a pond of clear water, where 
the country people were at work gathering willows and osiers. 
She approached, and kneeling on the bank would have slaked her 
thirst in the cool stream, but the rustics forbade her. ** Why do 
you refuse me water?" said she. "Water is free to all. Yet 1 
ask it of you as a favor. I have no intention of washing my limbs 
in it. weary though they be, but only of (luenching my thirst. A 
draught of water would be nectar to me, and I would own myself 
indebted to you for life itself l/et these infants move your pity, 
who stretch out their little arms as if to plead for me." 

But the clowns persisted in iheir rudeness ; they added jeers, 
and threatened violence if she did not leave the place. They 
waded into the pond, and stirred up the mud with their feet, so 
as to make the water unfit to drink. Enraged, the goddess no 
longer supplicated the clowns, but lifting her hands to heaven 
exclaimed, "May they never quit that pool, but pass their lives 
there !" And it came to pass accordingly. They still live in the 
water, sometimes totally submerged, then raising their heads above 
the surface or swimming upon it ; sometimes coming out upon the 
bank, but soon leaping back again into the water. Their voices arc 
harsh, their throats bloated, Iheir mouths distended by constant 
railing ; their necks have shrank up and disappeared, and their 
heads are joined to their bodies. Their backs are green, their 
disproportioned bellies white. They dwell as frogs in the slimy 
pool.* 

§ 73, ApoUo, the Light Triumphant. — Soon after his birth the 
sun-god spent a year among the Hyperboreans, whose shining land 
has been already described.* On his return, slaying with his golden 
auows the Python that had infested the slopes near Delphi, he 
sang for the first lime that song of victory, which, as the Pitan, 
is still among all nations synonymous with jubilation, praise, and 
thanksgiving. In his conflict with another monster of darkness 
1 Ovid, Melam. 6 : 3i3-3«i. 1 ^ ^ 



1» 



CLASS/C MVTffS TN ENGLISH LITERATURE. 



and winter, the god uf the silver bow had the asbistance of his 
sister Diana. By iheir unerring fiery darts they subdued the 
giant Tityus, who not only had obstructed the peaceful ways to 
the oracle of Delphi, but had ventured to insult the mother of the 
twin deities. They overthrew also the Aloadae, Otus and Ephialtes, 
sons of Iphimedia and Neptune. These monsters, the reputed 
sons of Aloeus, represent, perhaps, the unregulated forces of vege- 
tation; they .were renowned for their strength, stature, and cour- 
age. Tliey grew at the rate of three cubits in height, and one in 
breadth, every year ; and, when nine years of age, they attempted, 
by piling Mount Ossa upon Olympus, and Mount Pelion on top, 
to scale the skies and dethrone the immortals. It is reported that 
not Apollo and Diana, but Jupiter himself with his lightning slew 
them. They atoned for their presumption in Hades, where bound 
by serpents to a pillar, they were tormented by the perpetual hoot- 
ing of a screech-owl.^ 

§ 74. Hyacinthus. — The fiery force of the Far-darter was not 
felt by the monsters of darkness alone. His friendship for the 
ynung and the vigorous was frequenUy as dan- 
gerous as it was dear to the objects of it. 
He was, for instance, passionately fond of 
a youth named Hyacinthus. The god of the 
silver bow accompanied the lad in his sports, 
carried the nets when he went fishing, led 
the dogs when he went to hunt, followed 
him in his excursions in the mountains, and 
neglected for him both lyre and arrows. One 
day they played a game of quoits ; Apollo, 
heaving aloft the discus, with strength min- 
gled with skill, sent it high and far. Hya- 
cinthus, excited with the sport and eager to 
make his throw, ran forward to seize the missile ; but it bounded 
from the earth, and struck him in the forehead. He fainted and 
fell. The god, as pale as himself, raised him and tried all his art to 

t Roscher, L%. a, 354, ,Ahadtg (Schulu). 






I 



MYTHS OF THE GREAT DIVINITIES OF HEAVES, 121 

staoch the wound and retain the flitting life^ but in vain. As when 
one has broken the stem of a lily in the garden it hangs its head and 
turns its flowers to the earth, so the head of the dying boy, as if 
too heavy for his neck, fell over on his shoulder. " Thou diest. 
Hyacinth," spake Phtebus, "robbed of ihy youth by me. Would 
that I could die for thee ! But since that may not be, my lyre 
shall celebrate thee, my song shall tell thy fate, and tho'i shalt 
become a flower inscribed with my regret." While the golden 
god spoke, the blood which had flowed on the ground and stained 
the herbage, ceased to be blood ; and a flower of hue more beau- 
tiful than the Tyrian sprang up, resembling the lily, save that this 
is purple and that silvery white. Phoebus then, to confer still 
greater honor, marked the petals with his sorrow, inscribing *'Ai ! 
ai T'upon them. The flower bears the name of Hyacinthus, and 
with returning spring revives the memory of his fate,* 

It was said that Zephynis (the west wind), who was also fond 
of Hyacinthus and jealous of his preference of Apollo, blew the 
quoit out of its course to make it strike Hyacinthus. 

§ 75. While this youth met his death by arrident, another of 
.\poUo's favorites, his own son, brought death upon himself by 
presumption. 

Phaeton' was the son of Apollo and the nymph Clymene. 
One day Epaphus, the son of Jupiter and lo,' scofletl at the idea 
of Phaeton's being the son of a god. Phaeton complained of the 
insult to his mother Clymene. She sent him to Phoebus to ask 
for himself whether he had not been truly informed concerning 
his parentage. Gladly Phaeton travelled toward the regions of 
sunrise, and gained at last the palace of the Sun. He approached 
his father's presence, but stopped at a distance, for the light was 
more than he could bear. Phtebus Apollo, arrayed in purple, sat 
on a throne that glittered with diamonds. Beside him stood the 
Day, the Month, the Year, the Hours, and the Seasons. Surrounded 
by these attendants, the Sun beheld the youth dazzled with the 
novelty and splendor of the scene, and inquired the purpose of 

1 Ovid. Metam, 10: 163-319. ' l-'ioperly spvllwl Pkatthon. 





122 



CLASSIC AfYJHS /A" &NGUSH UTEHATVHE, 



his errand. The youth replied, " Oh, light of the boundless world, 
Phcebus, my father — if thou dost yield me that name — give 
me some proofs I beseech thee, by which I may be known as 
thine I " He ceased. His father, laying aside the beams that 
shone around his head, bade him approach, embraced him, owned 
him for his son, and swore by the river Styx ' that whatever proof 
he might ask should be granted. Phaeton immediately asked to 
be permitted for one day to drive the chariot of the sun. The 
father repented of his promise, and tried to dissuade the boy by 
telling him the perils of the miderlaking. " None but myself," 
he said, "may drive the fiaming car of day. Not even Jupiter, 
whose terrible right arm hurU the thunderbolts. The first part of 
the way is steep, and such as the horses when fresh in the morning 
can hardly climb ; the middle is high up in the heavens, whence 
I myself can scarcely, without alarm, look down and behold the 
earth and sea stretched beneath me. The last part of the road 
descends rapidly, and requires most careful driving. Tethys, who 
is waiting to receive me, often trembles for me lest I should fall 
headlong. Add to this that the heaven is all the time turning 
round and carrying the stars with it. Couldsl ihou keep thy 
course, while the sphere revolved beneath thee? The road, also, 
is through the midst of frightful monsters. Thou must pass by 
the horns of the Bull, in front of the .\rcher, and near the 
Lion's jaws, and where the Scorpion stretches its arms in one 
direction and the Crab in another. Nor wilt thou find it easy to 
guide those horses, with their breasts full of fire that they breathe 
forth from their mouths and nostrils. Beware, my son, lest I be 
the donor of a fatal gift ; recall the request while yet thou canst." 
He ended ; but the youth rejected admonition, and held to his 
demand. So, having resisted as long as he might, Phoebus at last 
led the way to where stood the lofty chariot. 

It was of gold, the gift of Vulcan : the axle of gold, the 
pole and wheels of gold, the spokes of silver. Along the seat 
were rows of chrysolites and diamonds, reflecting the bright- 

M48- 





I 



THE GRU AT DIVINITIES OF HEAVEN. 



ne85 of the sun. While the daring youth gazed in admira- 
tion, the early Dawn threw open the purple doors of the east, 
and showed the pailiway strewn with roses. The stars with- 
drew, marshalled by the Daystar, which last of all retired also. 
The father, when he saw the earth beginning to glow, and the 
Moon preparing to retire, ordered the Hours to harness up the 
horses. They led forth from the lofty stalls the steeds full fed 
Mrith ambrosia, and attached the reins. Then the father, smearing 
the face of his son with a powerful unguent, made him capable of 
enduring the brightness of the flame. He set the rays on the lad's 
head, and, with a foreboding sigh, told him to spare llie whip 
and hold tight the reins ; not to take the straight road between 
the five circles, but to turn off to the left ; to keep within the 
limit of the middle zone, and avoid the northern and the southern 
alike; finally, to keep in the wdl-worn ruts, ami to drive neither 
loo high nor loo low, for the middle course was safest and best.^ 

Forthwith the agile youth sprang into the chariot, stood erect, 
and grasped the reins wiUi delight, pouring out thanks to his 
reluctant parent. But the steeds soon perceived that the load 
they drew was lighter than usual ; and as a ship witiiout baltast is 
tossed hither and thither on the sea, the chariot^ without its accus- 
tomed weight, was dashed about as if empty. The horses rushed 
headlong and left the travelled road. Then, for the first time, the 
Great and Little Hears were scorched with heat, and would fain, 
if it were ix)ssiUe, have plunged into the water ; and the Serpent 
which hes coiled round the north poie, torpid and harmless, 
grew warm, and with warmth felt its rage revive. Bootes, they 
say, fled away, though encumbered with his plough, and unused 
to rapid motion. 

When hapless Phaeton looked down upon the earth, now spread- 
ing in vast extent beneath him, he grew pale, and his knees shook 
with terror. He lost his self-command, and knew not whether to 
draw tight the rctns or throw them loose ; he forgot the names of 
the horses. But when he beheld the monstrous forms scattered 



1 Mtd%c tutiisitmis i^ts. — OviO. 



124 



CLASSIC MYTHS M' ENGUSH LITERATURE, 



over the surface of heaven, — the Scorpion extending two great 
arms, his tail, and his crooked claws over the space of two signs of 
the zoiiiac, — when the boy beheld hini, reeking with poison and 
menncing with fangs, his courage failed, and the reins fell from his 
hands. The horses, unrestrained, went off into unknown regions 
of the sky, in among the stars, hurling the chariot over pathless 
pFaces, now up in high heaven, now down almost to the earth. 
The moon saw with astonishment her brother's chariot running 
beneath her own. The clouds began to smoke. The forest-clad 
mountains burned. — Athos and Taurus and Tniolus and CEte ; 
Ida, once celebrated for fountains ; ihe Muses' mountain Helicon, 
and Hsemus ; <^lna, with fires within and without, and Parnassus, 
with his two peaks, and Rhorlope. forced at last to i>art with his 
snowy crowu. Her cold climate was no protection toScythia; 
Caucasus burned, and Ossa and Pindus, and, greater than both, 
Olympus, — the Alps high in air, and the Apennines crowned with 
clouds. 

Phaeton beheld the world on fire, and felt the heat intolerable. 
Then, too, it is said, the people of .Ethiopia became black because 
the blood was called by the heat so suddenly to the surface ; and 
the Libyan desert was dried up to the condition in which it remains 
to this day. The Nymphs of the fountains, with dishevelled hair, 
mourned their waters, nor were the rivers safe beneath their banks ; 
TanaTs smoked, and Caicus, Xanthus, and Meander ; Babylonian 
Euphrates and Ganges, Tagus, with golden sands, and Cayster 
where the swans resort. Nile fled away and hid his head in the 
desert, and there it still remains conce.ilcd. Where he used to 
discharge his waters through seven mouths into the sea, seven 
dry channels alone remained." The earth cracked open, and 
through the chinks light broke into Tartarus, and frightened 
the king of shadows and his queen. The sea shrank ^p. Even 
Ncreus and his wife Doris, with the Noretds, their daughters, 
sought the deepest caves for refuge. Thrice Neptune essayed to 
raise his head above the surface, and thrice was driven back by 
the heat Earth, surrounded as she was by waters, yet with head 



MYTHS OF THE GREAT DiVINITJES OF HEAVEN. 125 

and shoulders bare, screening her face with her hand, looked up 
to heaven, and with husky voice prayed Jupiter if it were his 
will that she should perish by fire, to end her agony at once by 
his thunderbolts, or else to consider his own heaven, how both 
the poles were smoking that sustained his palace, and that all must 
fall if they were destroyed. 

Earth, overcome with heal and thirst, could say no more. Then 
Jupiter, calling the gods to witness that all was lost unless some 
speedy remedy were applied, thundered, brandished a lightning 
bolt in his right hand, launched it against the charioteer, and 
stmck him at the same moment from his seat and from existence. 
Phaeton, with his hair on fire, fell headlong, like a shooting star 
which marks the heavens with its brightness as it falls, and Enda- 
nus, the great river, received him and cooled his burning frame. 
His sisters, the Heliadcs, as they lamented his fate, were turned 
into poplar trees, on the banks of the river; and their tears, which 
continued to flow, became amber as they dropped into the stream. 
The Italian Naiads reared a tomb for him, and inscribed these 
words upon the stone : — 

" Driver of Phoehus* chariot, Phafiton, 
Slrnck by Jove's thurnlcr, rests beneath this stone. 
He could not rule his father's car of fire. 
Yet was it much so nobly to aspire." > 

f 76. It was not, however, only by accident, or by the ill-advised 
action of those whom he loved, that Apollo^s gifts of light and 
heat were turned into misfortunes. Mortals who offended him 
were levelled by the cruel sunstroke, by arrows of malarial venom, 
of manifold sickness and death. 

The Plague sent upon the Greeks before Troy. — When the host 
of the Achpeans was encamped before Troy, the king of men, 
Atrides, unjustly declined to restore his captive, ChryseTs of the 

1 Hie situs tsi Pkafton, cnrms aur(^a patemi, 
Qurm si hom ttnuit, magnls tamem excidtt ausit, — OVfD 

The story will be found In the MetAin. 9 : 1-400. 





CUiSS/C MYTHS IN ENGUSH UTERATVnE. 

fair checks, to her father Chryses, the priest of far-dariing Apollo. 

Then the aged Chryses went apart, and prayed aloud, " Hear me, 

god of the silver bow, ... let 
the Danaans pay by thine ar- 
rows for my tears I " 

So9p&ke he in prayer; and Phrr- 

bus Apollo heard him, and came 
down from the peaks of Olympus 
wroth at heart, bearing on his 
shoalders hi» bow and covered 
quiver. And the arrows clanged 
upon his shoulders in his wrath, as 
the god moved; and he descended 
like to night, 'llien he sate hioi 
aloof from the ships, and let an arrow fly ; and there was heard a dread clanging 
of the silver bow. First did he assail the mules and fleet dogs, but afterward, 
aiming at the men his piercing dart, he smote; and the pyres of the dead 
burnt continually in multitude. Nor until Agamemnon had sent back his 
winsome captive to her father did Apollo remove from the Danaans the 
loathsome pestilence.^ 

5 77. The Punishment of Niobe is another illustration of the 
swift and awful vengeance of Apollo, and also of his sister Diana. 
This Niobc was the daughter of a certain Tantalus, king of Phrygia, 
who had been received at the table of the gods by his father, 
Jupiter. But there was a strain of ingratitude and conceit in both 
father and daughter. The father not only betrayed the secrets of 
the gods, but, to ridicule their reputed omniscience, attempted, at 
a banquet, to deceive them into eating the roasted flesh of his own 
son Pelops. The gods were not deceived. Pelops was restored 
to life, — Tantalus consigned to Tartarus. The daughter, Niobc, 
although she owed her happy marriage with Jupiter's son Amphion, 
and her seven stalwart sons and seven blooming daughters, to the 
favor of the gods, and of Latona in particular, boasted of her birth, 
her marriage, and her offspring, bragged of her superiority to 
Latona, and, on one occasion, scoffed at the annua] celebration in 

1 From Lanft, Leaf 0c Myers's Iliad, x : 43-50. 




MYTHS OF THE GREAT DlViNITiES OF HEAl^EN. 127 

honor of the goddess and her two childreo. Surve>'ing the people 
of Thebes with haughty glance, she said, " What folly to prefer 
beings whom you have never seen to those who stand before your 
eyes ! Will you prefer to me this Liitona, the Titan's daughter, with 
her two children ? I have seven times as many. Were I to lose 
some of my children, I should hardly be left as poor as Latona 
with her two only. Put off the laurel from your brows, — have 
done with this worship I *' The people left the sacred services 
uncompleted. 

The goddess was indignant. On the Cynthian mountain top 
she thus addressed her son and daughter: •' My children, I who 
have been so proud of you both, and have been used to hold 
myself second to none of the goddesses except Juno alone, begin 
now to doubt whether I am indeed a goddess. I shall be deprived 
of my worship altogether unless you protect me." She was pro- 
ceeding in this strain, but Apollo interrupted her. " Say no more," 
said he; *' speech only delays punishment." So said Diana also. 
Darting through the air, veiled in clouds, they alighted on the 
towers of the city. Spread out before the gates was a broad plain, 
where the youth of the city pursued their warlike sports. The 
sons of Niobe were there with the rest, — some mounted on spir- 
ited horses richly caparisoned, some driving gay chariots. Ismenos, 
the first-born, as he guided his foaming steeds, was struck by an 
arrow from above. " Ah me 1 *' he cried, — dropped the reins and 
fell lifeless. Another, hearing the sound of the bow, gave the rein 
to his horses and attempted to escape. The inevitable arrow 
overtook him as he fled. Two others, younger, stood, wrestling, 
breast to breast: one arrow pierced them both. Alphenor, an 
cider brother, hastened to the spot to render assistance, but fell 
in the act of brotherly duty. One only was left, Ilioneus. "Sparc 
me, ye gods!" he cried, addressing all of them, in his ignorance 
that all needed not his supplication ; and Apollo would have 
spared him, but the arrow had already left the string, and it was 
too late. 

When Niobe was acquainted with what had taken place, she 



CLASSIC MVTNS IN ENUUSH UTEKATURB, 



was indignant that the gods had dared and amazed that they bad 
been able to do it Her husband, Amphion, overwhelmed with 
the blow, destroyed himself. But the mother knelt over the life- 
less bodies, and kissed them Raising her pallid arras to heaven, 
"Cruel Latona,*' said she, *' satiate thy hard heart, while I follow 
to the grave my seven sons. Yet where is thy triumph ? Bereaved 

as I am, I am still richer 
than thou, my conqueror." 
Scarce had she spoken, 
when the bow sounded and 
struck terror into all hearts 
except Niobe's alone. She 
was brave from excess of 
grief. Her daughters stood 
in garments of mourning 
over the biers of their dead 
brothers. One after an- 
other they fell, struck by 
arrows, beside the corpses 
that they were bewailing. 
Only one remained, whom 
the motlier held clasped in 
her arms, and covered, as 
it were, with her whole 
body. " Spare tne one, and 
\ C^ ' c:^^ I that the youngest! Oh, 

spare me one of so many 1 " 
she cried ; and while she spoke, that one fell dead. Desolate she 
sat, among sons, daughters, husband, all dead, and seemed torpid 
with grief. The breeze moved not her hair, no color was on her 
cheek, her eyes glared fixed and immovable, there was no sign 
of life about her. Her very tongue cleaved to the roof of her 
mouth, and her veins ceased to convey the tide of life. Her neck 
bent not, her arms made no gesture, her fool no step. She was 
changed to stone, within and without. Yet tears continued to 






MYTHS OF THE GREAT DlVimTiES OF HEAVEN. J29 



flow; and, borne on a whirlwind Lo her native inounLain, she 
still remains, a mass of rock, from which a irickling stream flows, 
the tnbute of her never-ending grief.* 

" Amid nine daughters slain by Artemis 
Stood Niobe: she rais'd her head above 
Those beauteous foiins which had brought down the scath 
Whence all niue fell, rais'd it, aud stood erect, 
And thus bcspakc the guddess enthroned on high; 

•Thou beardcst, Artemis, my daily prayer 
That thou wouldst guide tlicse children in the paia 
Of nrtue, through the tangling wilds of youth. 
And thou didst ever guide them: was It just 
To smite them for a beauty such as thine? 
DcscrvM they ileath because thy grace appcar'd 
In ever modest motion? 'iwas thy gift, 
The richest gift thai youth from heaven receives. 
True, 1 did boMly say they might compare 
Even with thyself in virgin puiity: 
May nut a mother in her pride repeat 
What every mortal said? 

One prayer remains 
For me to offer ycU 
Thy quiver holds 

More than nine arrows: bend thy bow; aim here! 
I see, I sec it glimmering through a cloud. 
Artemis, thou at length art merciful: 
My children will nut hear the fatal twang.'" ^ 

§ 78. The Lamentatioa for Linus. — How the people of Argos 
fell imder the displeasure of Apollo is told in the story of Linus, 
a beautiful son of Apollo and Psamathe. In fear of her father the 
king, Psamaihe exposed the chihl on the mountains, where, brought 
up by shepherds among the lambs, he was in tender youth torn to 
pieces by dogs. Meanwhile Psamathe. herself, was driven from her 
father's home, wherefore Apollo sent against the l.^nd of the Argives 
a monster that for a season destroyed the children, but at last was 
slain by a noble youth named Coruebus. To appease the wrathful 



1 Ovid, Mciniii 6: 165-312. 



" Troni W. S. Landor's NiotM. 






CLASSIC MYTHS FN ENGLISH UTERATURE. 

deity, a shrine was erected midway between Argos and Delphi ; 
and every year Linus and his mother were bewailed in melancholy 
lays by the mothers and children of Argos, especially by such as 
had lost by ili-ath their own beloved. 

§ 79. JEscuUpius. — The Thessalian princess Coronis (or the 
Messenian, Arsinoe) bore lo Apollo a child who was oamed 
^>Esciilapius. On his mother's death the infant was intrusted to 
the charge of Chiron, most famous of the 
Centaurs, himself instructed by Apollo and 
Diana in hvmling, medicine, music, and the 
art of prophecy. When the sage relumed 
to his home bearing the infant, his daughter 
Ocyrrhoe came forth lo meet him, and at 
sight of the child burst into a prophetic 
strain, foretelling the glory that he should 
achieve. -'Esculapius, when grown up, be- 
came a renowned physician ; in one instance 
he even succeeded in restoring the dead 
to life. Pluto resented this ; and, at his re- 
quest, Jupiter struck the bold physician with 
lightning and killed him, but after his death 
received him into the number of the gods.' 

§ 80. Apollo in Exile. ^ — Apollo, indignant 
at the destruction of this son, wreaked his 
vengeance on the innocent workmen who 
had made the thtmderbolt. These were the Cyclopes, who had 
their workshop under Mount ^Etna, from which the smoke and 
flames of their furnaces are constantly issuing. Apollo shot his 
arrows at the Cyclopes, a deed which so incensed Jupiter that he 
condemned him to ser\'e a mortal for the space of one year. 
Accordingly, Apollo went into the service of Admetus, king of 
Thcssaly, and pastured his flocks for him on ihe verdant banks 
t)f the river Amphrysus. How the god lived among men, and what 
ihey thought of him, is well told in the fnllnwing verses : — 
t Ckeiu, Nalura Oeurum, 3, aa. 



AfYTffS Of THE GREAT DIVINITIES OF HEAVEN. Ul 



THE SHEPHERD OF KING ADMETUS.^ 

There came a youth upon the earth, 

Some thousand yean ago. 
Whose slender hands were nothing worth* 
Whether to pluugh, or reap, or »ow. 

U[}on an empty tortoise-shell 

He stretched some chords, and drew 
Music that made men's l>oso[ns swell 
Fearless, or brimmed their eyes with dew. 

Then King Admetus, one who had 

Pure taste by right divine. 
Decreed his singing not too bad 
To hear hcttvecn the cups of wine : 

And fto, welt pleased with being soothed 

Into a sweet ha1f>sleep. 
Three limes his kingly beard he smoothed, 
And made him viceroy o'er his sheep. 

Hii words were simple words enough, 

And yet he used them so. 
That what in other mouths was ruugh 
In his seemed musical and low. . 

Men called him but a shiftless youth, 

In whom no guud they saw; 
And yet, unwittingly, in truth, 
They made his careless words their law. 

They knew not how he learned at all. 

For idly, hour by hour, 
He sat and watched the dead leaves fall, 
Or mused upon a common flower. 

It seemed the loveliness of things 

Did teach him all their use, 
For, in mere weeds, and stones, and spring:*, 
He found a healing powrr profuse. 

*J. ICLowdL 





CLASSIC MYTHS IN ENGLISH UTERATUKS^ 

Men granted that his speech was wiae^ 

But, whcD a glance they caught 
Of his slim grace and woman's eyes, 
They laughed, and called him good* for 'luiught. 

Yet after he was dead and gune 

And e'en his memory dim, 
Earth seemed more sweet to live upon* 
More full of love, because of him. 

And day by day more holy grew 
Each spot where he had trodi 
Till after-poets only knew 
Their first-born brutJicr as a god. 

§ 8i. AdmetuB and Alceatls.' — Admetiis was a suitor, with 
others, for the hand of Alcestis, the daughter of Pelias, who prom- 
ised her to him who should come for her in a chariot drawn by 
lions and boars. This task Admetus performed by the assistance 
of his divine herdsman, and was made happy in the possession of 
Alcestis. But Admetus fell ill, and being near to death, ApuUo 
prevailed on the Fates to spare him on condition that some one 
should consent to die in his stead. Admetus, in his joy at this 
reprieve, thought littlg of the ransom, and, perhaps remembering 
the declarations of attachment which he had often heard from his 
courtiers and dependents, fancied that it would be easy to find a 
substitute. But it was not so. Brave warriors, who would willingly 
have perilled their lives for their prince, shrunk from tlie thought 
of dying for him on the bed of sickness; ar^d old servants who 
had experienced his bounty and that of his house from their child- 
hood up were not willing to lay down the scanty remnant of their 
days to show their gratitude. Men asked, ** Why does not one 
of his parents do it? They cannot in the course of nature live 
much longer, and who can feel like them the call to rescue the life 
they gave from an untimely end?" Bvit the parents, distressed 
though they were at the thought of losing him, shrunk from the 



I See Commentary, { 8i, 





MYTHS OF THE GREAT DIVLKITIBS OF HEAVEN. 133 



call. Then Alcestis, with a generous self-devotion, proffered her- 
self as the substitute. Adraetus, fond as he was of life, would not 
have submitted to receive it at such a cost ; but there was no 
remedy. The condition imposed by the Fates had been met, and 
the decree was irrevocable. As Admetus revived, Alcestis sickened^ 
rapidly sank, and died. 

Just after the funeral procession had left the palace, Hercules, 
the son of Jupiter and Alcmena, arrived. He, to whom no labor 
was loo arduous, resolved to attempt her rescue. Said he : — 

I will go lie in wait for Death, black-stoled 

King of the corpses !* I shall lind him, lure. 

Drinking, beside the tumb, u* the sacrifice : 

And if I lie in ambuscade, and leap 

Out of my lair, and seize — encircle him 

Till one band join the other round about — 

There lives not who shaU pull him out from me, 

Rib-mauletl, licforc he let the woman gu! 

But even say I mis* the booty, — say. 

Death comes not to the hollered blood, — why, then, 

Down go I, to the unsunned dwelling-place 

Of Kore and the king there. — make demand, 

Confident I shall bring Alkestis back. 

So as to put her in the hands of him 

My host, that housed me, never drove me off: 

Though stricken with* sore sorrow hid the stroke. 

Being a noble heart and honoring me \ 

Who of Thc*ssalians, more than this man, loves 

The stranger? Who that now inhabits Greece? 

Wherefore he shall not say the man was Tile 

Whom he befriended, — native noble heart!" 

So, one look upward, as if Zeus might laugh 

Approval of his human progeny, — 

One summons of the whole magnific frame, 

Each sinew to its service, —up he caught. 

And over ihoulder cast the lion-shag. 

Let the club go, — for had he not those hands? 



I From Browning's Balaustion's Adventure. 
names has been leuinecl. 



The Greek form of the proper 



134 



CLASSIC AfYTNS W ENGUSH UTEkATURE. 



And BO went striding off, on that slnigbt wftjr 

Leads to Larissa and (he suburb tomb. 

GUdDes& be with thee. Helper of our world ! 

I think this is the authentic sign and aeal 

Of Godship that it ever \vaxes glad. 

And mure glad, until gladness blowoms, bursts 

Into a rage tu suffer for mankind, 

And recommence at sorrow : drops like seed 

After the blossom, ultimate uf all. 

Say, does the seed scorn earth and seek the sun? 

Surely it has no other end and aim 

Than to drop, once more die into the gruund, 

Taste cold and darkness and oblivion there : 

And thence rise, tree-like grow through pain to joy, 

More joy and must joy, — do man good again. 

So to the struggle off slruHc Merakles. 



Long lime the Thessalians waited and mourned. As for 
HerakleSf no doubt they supposed him dead. When — but can 
it be? — 

. . . Ay, he it was advancing! In he strode. 

And took his stand before Admctns, — turned 

Now by despair to such a quietude. 

He neither raised his face nor spoke, this time. 

The while his friend surveyed him steadily. 

That friend looked rough with lighting: bad h<: strained 

Worst brute to breast was ever strangled yet? 

Somehow, a victory — for there stood the strength, 

Happy, as always; something grave, perhaps; 

The great vein-cordage on the fret-worked front, 

Bhick-swoUen, beaded yet with battle-dew 

The golden hair o' the hero I — his big frame 

A-quivcr with each muscle sinking back 

Into the sleepy smooth it leaped from late. 

Under the great guard of one arm, there leant 

A shrouded something, live and woman-like, 

Propped by the heartbeats Vealh the lion-coat. 

When he had finished his survey, it seemed, 

The heavings of the heart began subside, 

The helpful breath returned, and last the smile 




MYTHS OF THE GREAT DlVfmTJES Of HEAVEN. 135 

Sboae out, all Hcrakln wai back again, 
As the wofds followed the saluting hand. 

"Admetus," said he, '* take and keep this woman, my captive, 
till I come thy way again." But Admctus would admit no woman 
into the hall that Alcestis had left empty. Then cried Heraklcs, 
"Take hold of her. See now, my friend, if she look not some- 
what like that wife thou hast lost." 

Ah, hut the tean come^ find the words at fault ! 

There is no telling how the hero twitched 

TTic veil off; and there stood, with such fixed eyes 

And such slow smile, Alkestis* silent self! 

It was the crowning grace of that great heart, 

To keep back joy: procrastinate the truth 

Until the wife, who had made proof and found p 

The husband wanting, might essay once more. 

Hear, sec, and feel him rcnqvated now — 

Able to do now all herself had done, 

Riicn to the height of her: so, hand in hand. 

The two might go together, live and die. 

Beside, when he found speech, you guess the speech 

He could not think he saw his wife again : 

It was some mocking Cjod that used the bliss 

To make him mad! Till tierakles must help: 

Assure him that no spectre mocked at all; 

He was embracing whom he buried once, 

Still, — did he touch, might he address the true, 

Tine eye, true body uf the true live wife? 

. . . And Heraklcs said Ihtlc, but enough — 

How he engaged in combat with that king 

O' the daemons: how the field of contest lay 

By the tomb's self: how he sprang from ambuscade, 

Captured Death, caught him in that pair of hands. 



But all the time, Alkestis moved not once 

Out of the set gaze and thr silent smile; 

And a cold fear ran ihr(;ueh AHmetos' frame: 

** Why does she stand and fripnt mc, silent thus?'* 




136 



CLASSrc A/VT/ZS IN ENGUSM UTERATUJ^E. 



Hcraldes solemnly replied, •• Nut yet 

Is it alluwable thou hear the things 

She has to tell thcc; let evanish quite 

That coMccraiion to the lower Gods, 

And on our upper world the third day rise ! 

Lead her in, meanwhile; good and true thou art* 

Good, true, remain thou! Practise piety 

To strangcr-guesls the old way! 5>o, farewell! 

Since forth I fare, fulfil my ur^jeiit task 

Set by the king, the son of Sthenelos." ^ 

§ 82. Apollo, the Musician. — Not only in Arcadia, Laconia, 
and Thessaly did Apollo care, as a herdsman, for the cattle of a 
tnortal master ; in Mount Ida, too, by the order of Jupiter he 
herded for a year the "shambling, crook-homed kinc " of King 
Laomedon, and, playing on the lyre, aided Neptune to build the 
walla of Troy, just as Amphion, in his turn, had aided in the 
building of Thebes. Apollo^s life as her(^man was spent in estab- 
lishing wise laws and customs, in musical contests on the flute, 
and the lyre, or in passages of love with nymphs and maidens of 
mortal mould. 

S 83. Apollo, Pan, and Midas. ^ — It is said that on a certain 
occasion Pan had the temerity to compare his music with that 
of Apollo, and to challenge the god of the lyre to a trial of skill 
The challenge was accepted, and Tmolus, the mountain-god, was 
chosen umpire. The senior took his seat^ and cleared away the 
trees from his ears to listen. At a given signal Pan blew on his 
pipes, and with his rustic melody gave great satisfaction to him- 
self and his faithful follower Midas, who happened to be present. 
Then TmoUis turned his head toward the sun-god, antl all his trees 
turned with him. Apollo rose ; his brow wreathed with Parnassian 
laurel, while his robe of Tyrian purple swept the ground. In his 
left hand he held the lyre, and with his right hand struck the 
strings. Tmolus at once awarded the victor)' to the lyric god, and 
all but Midas acquiesced in the judgment. He dissented, and 

> For the originals, see Iliad 3: 715, and the Alceslls uf Euripides. 
^ O^id, Metam. 11: 146-193. 




MYTHS OF THE GREAT DIV/mTlES OF HEAVEN. 1J7 



V MYTl 

B questioned the justice of the award. Apollo promptly transformed 
his depraved pair of ears into those of an ass. 

I King Midas tried to hide his misfortune under an ample turban 
But his hair-dresser found it too 
much for his discretion to keep such 
a secret ; he dug a hole in the 
ground, and, stooping down, whis- 
pered the story, and covered it up. 
Hut a thick bed of reeds springing 
up in the meadow began whisper- 
ing the story, and has continued to 
do so from that day to this, every 

I time a breeze passes over the 
place. 
In the following *' Hymn," ' Pan 
taunts Apollo as he might have done 
when Midas was sitting contentedly 
by:- 

B From the forests and highlands 
We come, we come; 
From the river-girt islands, 

■ Where loud waves arc dumb. 

Listening to my sweet pipings. 
The wind in the reeds and the rushers. 

The bees on the bells of ihymc, 
Tlie birds on the myrtle btnhcs. 

The cicalc above in the lime. 
And the lizards below in the grass. 
Were as silent as ever old Tmolos was 
Lbtening to my sweet pipings. 

Uqnid Penefis was Sowing, 

And all dark Tempe lay. 
In PcHon's shadow, outgrowing 

Yhe light of the dying day. 





1 SbeUey, Hymn of Pan. 





CLASSn A/y/7/S IX EXGlJS/f LITEHATUHK, 

Speeded by my »weet pipingi. 
The Sileni, and Sylvans, and Fauns, 

And the Nymphs of the woods and waYCtf 
To the edge of the moist river-lawns. 

And the brink of the dewy caves^ 
And all thai did then attend and follow 
Were silent with love, as yoa now, Apollo, 
With envy of ray sweet pipings. 

I sang of the dancing stars, 

I sang of the dxdal Earth, 
And of Heaven — and the giant wars, 
And Love, and Death, and Birth, — 
And then I changed my pipings, — 
Singing how down the vale of Menalus 

I pursued a maiden, and clasp'd a reed: 
Gods and men, we are all deluded thus! 

It breaks in our bosom and then we bleed : 
All wept, as I think both ye nQW would. 
If envy or age had not frozen your blood. 
At the sorrow of my sweet pipings. 



§ 84. The Lovea of ApoUo. — Beside Psamathe of Argos,' Coro- 
nis of Thessaly,^ and the nymph Clymene," Apollo loved the muse 
Calliope, who bore him Orpheus/ and the nymph Cyrene, whose 
son was Aristsus/ Of his relations with two other maidens the 
following myths exist. 

§ 85, Daphne.' — The lord of the silver bow was not always 
prosperous in his ivooing. His first love, which, by the way, 
owed its origin to the malice of Cupid, — was specially unfortunate. 
It appears that Apollo, seeing the boy playing with his bow and 
arrows, had tauntingly advised him to leave warlike weapons for 
hands worthy of them and content himself with the torch of love. 
Whereupon the son of Venus had rejoined, ''Thine arrows may 
strike all things else, ApoHo, but mine shall strike thee." 




M 79- ' $ 75- 

• Ovid, Meiam. 



M »o7- 
45a-567- 



130. 





I 



yy'r//s of the great DinsiTiES of beaver, ij9 



So saying, he took his stand on a rock of Piunissi^ ax>d dmr 
from his quU'er two arrows of difTcrent workmanship, — one to 
excite love, the other to repel iL The former was of gold aod 
^larp pointed, the latter blunt and tipped with lead. \i\*tth the 
leaden shaft he struck the nvmph Daphne, the daughter of the river- 
god PeneUs, and with the golden one Apollo, through the bean. 
Forthwith the god was seized with love for the maiden, bat she, 
more than ever, abhorred the thought of loving. Her delight was 
in woodland sports and in the spoils of the chase. Spuming aD 
lovers, she prayed her father that she might remain always unmar- 
ried, like CHana. He consented, but, at the same time, warned 
her that her beauty would defeat her purpose. Ii was the £iioe o( 
this huntress-maiden that Apollo saw. He saw the charming dis- 
order of her hair, and would have arranged it \ he saw her eyes 
bright as stars ; he saw her hpsj and was not satisfied with only 
seeing them. He longed for Daphne. He followed her ; she fled, 
swifter than the wind, nor delayed a moment at his entreaties. 
" Slay," said he, '* daughter of PeneQs ; I am not a foe. It is for 
love I pursue thee. I am no clown, no rude peasant. Jupiter is 
my father. I am lord of Delphi and Teoedos. I know all ihii^^ 
present and future. I am the god of song and the lyre. My 
arrows fly true to the mark ; but alas ! an arrow more iatal duui 
mine has pierced my heart ! I am the god of medicine, and kikow 
the virtues of all healing plants. Alas ! I suffer a malady that no 
balm can cure." 

The nymph continues her flight, and leaves his plea half uttered. 
But even as she flies she charms him. The wind catches her 
garments, and her unbound hair streams loose behind her. The 
god, sped by Cupid, gains upon her in the race. His panting 
breath blows upon her hair. Her strength begins to M, and, 
ready to sink, she calls upon her father, the river-god : " Hdp 
me, PeneOs 1 open the earth to enclose me, or change my form, 
which has brought roe into this danger!" Scarcely had she 
spoken, when a stiffness seized her limbs ; and little by little she 
took on the appearance of a laurel tree. Apollo embraced the 



140 



CLASSIC MYTHS IN ENGUSH LITERATURE. 



branches, and laxashed kisses on the wood. The branches shrank 
from his lips. *• Since thou canst not be my wife," said he, •' thou 
shalt assuredly be my tree. I will wear thee for my crown. I 
will decorate with thee my harp and my quiver. When the 
Roman conquerors conduct the triumphal pomp to the Capitol, 
thou shalt be woven into wreaths for their brows. And, as eternal 
youth is mine, thou also shall be always green, and thy leaf know 
no decay." The laurel tree bowed its head in grateful acknowl- 
edgment. 

The delicious humor of Lowell's extravaganza upon the story 
amply justifies the following citation : — 

rhccbuB, sitting one day in a Uurd tree's shade. 

Was reminded uf Daphne, of whom it was made. 

For the god being one day too warm in his wooing. 

She took to the tree to escape his pursuing; 

Be the cause what it might, from his oFTers she shrunic. 

And, Gtnevra-like, shut herself up in a trunk; 

And, though 'twas a step into which he had driven her, 

He somehow or other had never forgiven her; 

Her memory he nursed as a kind uf a tonic, 

Something hitler to chew when he'd play the Byronlc, 

And I can't count Ihe ubstiiiale nymplis that he brought over 

By a strange kind (jf smile he put on when he thought \A her, 

•'My case is like Dido's," he sometimes remarked; 

"When I last saw my love, she was fairly cnil>arked 

In ft laurel, as she thought — ^hut (ah, how Fate mocks t) 

She has found it by this time a very bad box; 

Let hunters from me take this saw when they need it,— > 

You're not always sure of your ^amc when you've treed it 

Just conceive such a change taking place in one^s mistress! 

What romance would be left? — who can flatter or kiss trees? 

And, for mercy's sake, how could one keep up a dialogue 

With a dull wooden thing that will live and will die a log, — 

Not to say that the thought would forever intrude 

That you've less chance to win her the more she is wood? 

Ah t it went to roy heart, and the memory still grieves, 

To see those loved graces all taking their leaves; 

Those charms beyond speech, so enchanting but now, 

As they left me forever, each making its bough ! 





MVTilS OF THE GREAT DIVWITJES OF HEAVEN. 141 



IT her tongue had a tang sometimeft more than was right, 
Her new bark is worse than ten times her old bite."^ 

5 86. Clytie.* — InthesloryofCIytie the conditions are reversed. 
She was a water-nymph and in love with Apollo, who made her no 
return. So she pined away, sitting all day long upon the cold 
ground, with her unbound tresses streaming over her shoulders. 
Nine days she sal and tasted neither food nor drink, her own tears 
and the chilly dew her only sustenance. She gazed on the sun 
when he rose ; and as he passed through his daily course to his 
setting, she saw no other object^ — her eyes fixed constantly 
on him. At last, they say, her limbs took root in the ground, 
and her face became a flower, turning on its stem to follow the 
journeying sun. 

In the following lines, Thomas Moore use s the flower as a n 
em blem of consta ncy : — 

The heart that has truly loved never forgets, ^^ 
But as truly loves on to the close; 1 

As the sunflower turns on her god when he seta I 
The same took that she turned when he rose. J 



6. M\'THs OF Diana. 

§ 87. In company with her radiant brother, we find Diana sub- 
duing Tiiyus and the Python and assisting in the punishment of 
Niobe. The speedy transformation 
of Daphne has been attributed to 
this goddess, the champion of maid- 
enhood. According to some, it was 
she, too, that changed Callisto into 
a bear, when for love of Jupiter that 
nymph deserted the huntress- band. 
Numerous are the myths that celebrate the severity of the goddess 
of the unerring bow toward those who oflended her. How she 



SXiLU. 



1 From the Fable (or Critics. 



* Ovid, Metam. 4 : 356-370. 



142 



CLJSSrC MYTHS /A' ENGUSH UTEKATURF^ 



served Agaraeranon for slaying one of her hinds is told in the story 
of Troy;' how she punished CEneus for omitting a sacrifice to 
her is naaated in the episode of the Calydonian hunt.* Similar 
attributes of the goddess are exemplified in the myths of Are- 
thusa, Actaeon, and Orion. It is only when she is identified with 
Selene^ the peaceful moonlight, that we perceive a softer side of 
character, such as that displayed in her relations with Endymion. 

§ 88. The Flight of Arethusa.^— A woodland nymph of Elia 
was this Arethusa ; she delighted not in her comeliness, but in the 
joys of the chase. One day, returning from the wood, healed with 
exercise, she descended to a stream silently flowing, so clear that 
you might count the pebbles on the bottom. She laid aside her 
garments \ but while she sported in the water, she heard an indis- 
tinct murmur rising as out of the depths of the stream. She made 
haste to reach the nearest bank. A voice followed her, "Why 
flyest thou, .'\reLhusa? AlpheGs am I, the god of this stream.'* 
The nymph ran, the god pursued. Arethusa, at last exhausted, 
cried for help to Diana, who, hearing, wrapped her votary in a 
thick cloud. Perplexed, the river-god still sought the trembling 
maiden. But a cold sweat came over her. In less time than it 
takes to tell, she had become a fountain. Alpheiis attempted then 
to mingle his stream with hers. But the Cynthian queen cleft the 
ground ; and AretHusa, still endeavoring to escapCj plunged into 
the abyss, and passing through the bowels of the earth, came out 
in Sicily, still followed by the passionate river-god. 

In the following version of the pursuit,* Arethusa was already a 
river when Alphetis espied her. 

Arethusa arose 

From her couch of snows 
In the .^croccraunian mountains, — 

P'rom cloud and from crag. 

With many a jag, 
Shepherding her bright fountains, 



M167. 

■ Orid, Metam. 5 : 585-641. 



M 148. . 

' Shelley's Arethusa. 



MYTHS OF THE GREAT DIVINITIES OF HEAVEN, 145 



I 



And at night they sleep 

In the rocking deep 
Beneath Ihc Orlygian shore; — 

Like spirits that lie 

In the azure sky 
When Ihey love but live no more. 

§89. The Fate of Act«on.^ — Diana's severity toward young 

Aclpeon, grandson of Cadmus whose kindred fell under the curse 
of Mars, is thus narrated. 

One day, having repaired to a valley enclosed by cypresses and 
pines where gushed a fountain of sparkling water, the chaste Diana 
handed her javelin, her quiver, and her bow to one nymph, her 
robe to another, while a third unbound the sandals from her feet. 
Then Crocale, the most skilful of them, arranged her hair, and 
Nephele, Hyale, and the rest drew water in capacious urns. While 
the huntress-queen was thus employed in the labors of the toilet, 
Aclaeon, the son of Autonoe and Aristjeus, having quitted his com- 
panions of the chase, and rambling without any especial object, 
came to the place, led thither by his destiny. As he presented 
himself at the entrance of the cave, the nymphs, seeing a man, 
screamed and rushed towjrds the goddess to hide her with their 
bodies. But she was taller than the rest, and overtopped them 
all by a head. Such a color as tinges the clouds at sunset or at 
dawn came over the countenance of Diana thus taken by surprise. 
Surrounded as she was by her nyniphs, she yet turned half away, 
and sought with a sudden impulse for her arrows. As they were 
not at hand, she dashed the water into the face of the intruder, 
saying, " Now go and tell, if you can, that you have seen Diana 
unapparelled.*' Immediately a pair of branching stag's horns 
grew out of the huntsman's head, his neck gained in length, his 
eare grew sharp-pointetl, his hands became feet, his arms, his long 
legs, and his body were covered with a hairy spotted hide. Fear 
took the place of his former boldness, and the hero fled. What 
should he do? — go home to the palace, or lie hid in the woods? 



1 Ovid, Melam. 3; 13&-953. 



146 



CLASSIC MYTHS IN ENGLISH UTERATURE. 



While he hesitated his dogs saw him. Over rocks and cliffs, 
through mountain gorges that seemed impracticable, he fled, and 
they followed. The air resounded with the bark of the dogs. 
Presently one fastened on his back, another seized his shoulder ; 
the rest of the pack came up and buried their leeth in his flesh. 
His friends and fcllow-huntsmcn cheered on the dogs, and looking 
everywhere for Actaeon, called on him to join the sport. At the 






y 



K^ 



sound of his name, he turned his head^ and heard them regret 
that he should be away. He earnestly wished he was. But Diana 
had no pity for him, nor was her anger appeased till the dogs had 
torn his life out. 

§ 90. The Fortunes and Death of Orion. — Orion, the son of 
Neptune, was a giant ami a mighty hunter, whose prowess and 
manly favor gained for him the rare good-will of Diana. 

It is related that he loved Mcrope, the daughter of CBnopion, 
king of Chios, and sought her in marriage. He cleared the island 
of wild beasts, and brought the spoils of the chase as presents to 
his beloved \ but as CEnopion constantly deferred his consent, 
Orion attempted to gain possession of the maiden by violence. 
Her father, incensed at this conduct, made Orion drunk, deprived 
him of his sight, and cast him out on the seashore. The bUnded 





I 



MYTHS OF THE GREAT DIVINITIES OF HEAVEN. \A1 



hero, instructed by an oracle to seek the rays of morning, fol- 
lowed the sound of a Cyclops' hammer till he reached Lemnos, 
where Vulcan, taking pity on him, gave him Cedalion, one of his 
men, to be his guide to the abode of the sun. Placing Cedalion 
on his shoulders, Orion proceeded to the east, and there meeting 
the sun-god, was restored to sight by his beam.' 

After this he dwelt as a hunter with the queen of the echoing 
chase ; and it was even hinted that she loved him. Her brother, 
highly displeased, often chid her, but to no purpose. One day, 
therefore, observing Orion as he waded through the sea, wiih his 
head just above the water,. Apollo pointed out the black object to 
his sister, and maintained that she could not hit it. The archer- 
goddess discharged a shaft with fatal aim : the waves rolled the 
dead body of Orion to the land. Then bewailing her fatal error with 
many tears, Diana placed him among the stars, where he appears 
as a giant, with a girdle, sword, lion's skin, and club. Sirius, his 
dog, follows him, and the Pleiads fly before him.* In the begin- 
ning of winter, all through the night, Orion follows the chase 
across the heavens ; but with dawn he sinks toward the waters of 
his father Neptune. In the beginning of summer, he may be seen 
with daybreak in the eastern sky, where, beloved by Aurora, he 
remains gradually paling before the light of day till, finally, Diana, 
jealous of his happiness, draws her gentle darts, and slays him. 

§ 91. The Pleiads,^ who still fly before Orion in the heavens. 
were da ughters of Atlas , a nd nymphs of Diana's tr ain. One day 
Orion saw them in Bceotia, became enamoured of them, and gave 
pursuit. In their distress they prayed to the gods to change their 
form. Jupiter, accordingly, turned them into pigeons, and made 
them a constellation. Though their number was seven, only six 
stars are visible; for Electra, it is said, left her place that she 
might not behold the ruin of Troy, which had been founded by 
her son Dardanus. The sight had such an effect on her sisters 



> Apollodonu, 1.4, {3. 

' Ovid. Fasli, 5 : 537 : Iliad. 18 486. and aa: 39: Odys. 5: lai, 274. 

* The story is lold by Hyginus in hts Fables, and in his Po«tica| Astronomy. 




mtm^^ 



inconsolably ranges the expanse of heaven. According lo some, 
the lost Pleiad is Merope, who was vested with mortality in con- 



MYTHS OF THE GREAT OiVINlTIES OF HEAVEN. H9 

sequence of her marriage with the mortal Sisyphus, king of 
Corinth. 

Tennyson's reference to the Pleiads, in " Locksley Hall/' is of 
course familiar to all readers. 

§ 92. Endymion. — The frequent absence of Diana from her 
duties in heaven is said to have awakened suspicion among ihe dei- 
ties of Olympus, who doubted whether she actually occupied these 
intervals with hunting. It is easy to imagine the satisfjclion with 
which Venus, who so often had been reproached by Diana with 
her undue fondness of beautiful youths, would welcome news of a 
corresponding weakness on the part of the cold-hearted and ap- 
parently unyielding hunlress-qneen. And such satisfaclion Venus 
once enjoyed, if wc may trust the later classical, and the modem, 
poets who have identified Diana with Selene, the more ancient 
goddess of the moon. 

For one calm, clear night, Selene looked down upon the beauti- 
ful Endymion, who fed his flock on Mount Latmos ; and saw him 
sleeping. The heart of the goddess was unquestionably warmed 
by his surpassing beauty. She came down to him ; she kissed 
him ; she watched over him while he slept. She visited him 
again and again. But her secret could not long be hidden from 
the company of Olympus. For more and more frequently she 
was absent from her station in the sky; and toward morning 
she was ever paler and more weary with her watching. When, 
finally, her love was discovered, Jupiter gave Endymion, who had 
been thus honored, a choice between death in any manner that was 
preferable, or perpetual youth united with perpetual sleep. En- 
dymion chose the latter. He still sleeps in his Carian cave, and 
still the mistress of the moon slips from her nocturnal course to 
visit him. She takes care, too, that his fortunes shall not suffer 
by his inacdve life : she yields his flock increase, and guards his 
sheep and lambs from beasts of prey.' 



'Authorities are Pauwnias.s. i. } 8-4; Ovid, Ara. Am. 3:83; TristU, B:a99; 
ApoUonius. and Apollodonu. 



150 



CLASSIC MYTHS JN ENGUSH LITERATURE, 




Keats, whose Endymion journeys on a missioD under sea, thus 
describes a meeting of the goddess and her lover : — 

0:i gold sand impcarled 
With lily shells and pebbles milky white, 
Poor Cynthia greeted him, and soothed her light 
Against his palUJ face : he felt the charm 
To hrcathlessneas, and suddenly a warm 
Of his heart's blood: 'twas very sweet; he stayed 
His wandering steps, and half-entranced laid 
His head upon a tufl of straggling weeds, 
To taste the gentle tyoon, and freshening l>eads, 
Lashed from the crystal roof by lishes* tails. 
And so he kept, until (he rosy veils. 
Mantling the east, by Aurora's peering hand 
Were lifted from the water's breast, and fanned 
Into sweet air; and sobered morning come 
Meekly through billows: — when like taper-tlame 
L«ft sudden by a dallying bre&th of air, 
He rose in silence, and uace more 'gau fare 
Along his fated wayJ 

7. Mrras OF Venus. 

§ 93. Round the goddess of love cluster romances of her own 
tender passion, of the affairs of the winged Cupid, and of the 
loves of the worshippers at her shrine. Of the affection of Venus 
for Mars and of her relations with Anchises.- the father of .-Eneas, 
mention is elsewhere made. The following is the myth of Venus 
and Adonis. 

Adonis.^ — The sweetly smiling goddess, playing one day with 
her boy Cupid^ wounded her bosom with one of his arrows. 
Before the wound healed, she looked upon Adonis, the son of 
Cinyras and Myrrha, and was captivated by him. She no longer 
took any interest in her favorite resorts, — Paphos, and Cnidos, 
and Amathus, rich in metals. She absented herself even from 

1 From the Endymion, Bk. 3. « # 167. 

• Ovid, Me(.im. 10 : 503-550: 7o8-73g. 





MYTHS OF THE GREAT DIVINITIES OF HEAVEN 151 



Olympus, for Adonis was dearer to her than heaven. Him she 
followed, and bore him company. 
She who loved to recline in the 
shade, with no care but to cultivate 
her charms, now rambled through 
the woods and over the hills, girt like 
the huntress Diana. She chased 
g^me that is safe to hunt, but kept 
clear of the wolves and bears. She 
charged Adonis, too, to beware of 
dangerous animals. " Be brave 
toward the timid," she would say, 
"courage against the courageous is 
not safe." Having thus, on one 
occasion, warned him, she mounted 
her chariot drawn by swans, and 
drove away 'through the air. But 
Adonis was too noble to heed such 
counsels. The dogs had roused a 
wild boar from his lair; and the 
youth threw his spear, and wounded the animal with a sidelong 
stroke. The beast drew out the weapon with his jaws, and rush- 
ing after Adonis, buned his tusks in the lad's side, and stretched 
him dying upon the plain. The rest of the story is thus re- 
counted : — 




THE LAMENT FOR ADONIS.» 

. . . Low on the hills is lying the lovely Adonis, and hit thigh with the boaf*» 
tuik, his white thigh with the hoax's tusk is wounded; and sorrow on Qrpris 
he brings, as softly he breathes his life away. 

His dark blood drips down his skin of snow, beneath bis brows his eyes 



> From an elegy intended to Iw sung at one of the spring celebrations in 
memory of Adonis. Translated from Bion by Andrew Lang. Cyprii, CytAma, vnd 
the PaphiM refer lo Venus. See Commentary. This el«^ is also translated by 
Mrs. Browning and by Sir Edwin Arnold. 



152 



CLASSIC MYTHS fU EtfGUSH LITERATURE. 



wax bcavf and dim; and the rose flees from his lipi and thereon Ihe very kis« 
is d>ing, the kiss that Cypris will never forego. 

. . . She hath lost her lovely lord, with him she hath lost her sacred beauty. 
Fair was the form of Cypris while Adonis was living, but her beauty has died 
with Adonis! Woe^woe for Cyfiriz^ the mouittains nil are saying. And the 
oak-trees answer, H\>e for .If/vnis/ And the rivers bewail the sorrows of 
Aphrodite, and the wl*11s arc weeping Adonis on the moantaius. The flowers 
flush red fnr anguish, and Cythcrca through all the mountain-knees^ thfOttgh 
every dell doth shnll the piteous dirge: 

IVev, MfOf far Cytkerea^ ke halk peruhfd^ Uu l<ntety Adonis f 
. . . When she saw, when she marked the unstaunched wound of AdoDtt« 
when she saw the bright red blood about his languid thigh, she cast her arms 
abroad, and moaned, "Abide with me, Adonis, hapless Adonis, abide ! . . . 
Awake, Ailonis, fur a little while, and kiss me yet again, the lastest kiss ! . . . This 
kiss will I treasure, even as th)'self, Adunis, since, ah ill-fated, thou art fleeing 
mc, thou art llccing far, Adonis, and art faring to Acheron, to that hateful king 
and cruel, while wretched I yet live, being a goddess, and may not follow 
thee! Ferscphone, take thou my lover, my lord, for thyself art stronger than 
I, and all lovely things drift down to thee. But I am ill-fated, inconsolable 
b my anguish; and 1 lament mine Adonis, dead to me, and I have no rest 
for sorrow. 

" Thuu diest, oh, thrice •desired, and my desire hath flown away as a dream 1 
Nay, widowed is Cythcrca, and itile are the Loves along the halls ! With thee 
has the girdle of my beauty perished. For why, ah, overbold, didst thon 
follow (he cbase^ and being so fair, why wert thou thus overhardy !o fight 
with beasts? " 

So Cypris bewailed her, the Loves join in the lament : 
It^of, woe for Cythereay hi katA perisfud^ the loxcly Adonis I 
A tear the I'aphian sheds fur each bluod*drop of Adonis, and lean and 
bload on the earth are turned to flowers. The blood brings forth the rose; 
the tears, the wind-flower. 

lVo€, tvfii for Adonis. h( hath ptrished^ the lovely Adonis .' 
. , . Cease, Cytherea, from thy lannentations, to-day refrain from thy dirgei. 
Thou must again bewail him, again must weep for him another year. 



§ 94. Cupid and Psyche.^ — A certain king and queen had three 
daughters. The charms of the two elder were more than com- 
mon, but the beauty of the youngest was such that the poverty 
of language is unable to express its praise. In fact, Venus 

1 Apuldus. Met.-tm. Golden Ass, 4 : 98, etc. 




MYTHS OF THE GREAT DIVINITIES OF HEAVEN 153 



found her altars deserted, while men paid their vows to this 
virgin. WTien Psyche passed, the people sang her praises, and 
strewed her way with chaplets and flowers. 

This perversion of homage gave great offence to Venus, who 
complained that Paris might just as well not have yielded her 
the palm of beauty over Pallas and Juno, if a mortal were thus to 
usurp her honors. Wherefore she called Cupid, and pointing 
out Psyche to him, bade him infuse into the bosom of that 
haughty girl a passion for some low, unworthy being. 

There were, in Venus's garden, two fountains, — one of sweet 
waters, the other of bitter. Cupid filled two amber vases, one 
from each fountain, and suspending ihem from tlie top of his 
quiver, hastened to the chamber of Psyche, whom he found asleep. 
He shed a few drops from the biuer fountain over her lips, though 
the sight of her almost moved him to pity; and then he touched 
her side with the point of his arrow. She awoke, and opening 
her eyes upon Cupid (himself invisible), so startled him that in 
his confusion he wounded himself with his arrow. Heedless.of his 
wound, his thought now was to repair the mischief he had done. 
He poured, at once, the waters of joy over her silken ringlets, 

But Psyche, henceforth frowned upon by Venus, derived no 
benefit from her charms. Her two elder sisters had long been 
married to princes ; but Psyche's beauty failed to awaken love. 
Consequently her parents, afraid that they had unwittingly in- 
curred the anger of the gods, consulted the oracle of Apollo. 
They received answer, "The virgin is destined for the bride oi 
no mortal lover. Her husband awaits her on the top of the 
mountain. He is a monster whom neither gods nor men can 
resist" 

This dreadful decree of the oracle filled the people with dis- 
may; but, at Psyche's request, preparations for her fate were 
made. The royal maid took her place in a procession, which 
more resembled a funeral than a nuptial pomp, and with her 
parents, amid the lamentations of their subjects, ascended the 
mountain, where she was left alone. 



CLASSIC MYTHS IN ENGLiSH UTERATVRE, 



While Psyche stood there, panting with fear and with eyes full 
of teani, the gentle Zephyr lifted her and, with an easy motion, 
bore her to a flowery dale. By degrees her mind became com- 
posed, and she laid herself down on the grassy bank to sleep. 
When she awoke refreshed with sleep, she beheld near by a 
pleasant grove of tall and stately trees. Entering, she discovered 
in the midst a fountain, and fast by a palace whose august front 
showed that it waa not the work of mortal hands, but the happy 
retreat of some god. She approached the building and entered. 
Every object she met filled her with pleasure and amazement. 
Golden pillars supported the vaulted roof, and the walls were 
enriched with carvings and paintings that represented beasts of 
the chase and rural scenes. Other apartments were filled with 
still other beautiful and precious productions of nature and art. 

While her eyes were thus occupied, the voice of an invisible being 
addressed her: "Sovereign Uidy, all that thou beholdest is thinr*. 
We whose voices thou dost hear are thy servants. Retire, we pray 
thee, to thy chamber, repose on thy bed of down, and when it 
may please thee repair to the bath. Food awaits in the adjoin- 
ing alcove." 

After repose and the refreshment of the bath, Psyche seated 
herself in the alcove, where, without any visible aid, a table imme- 
diately presented itself, covered with delicacies and nectareous 
wines. Her ears, too, were delighted with music from invisible 
performers. 

For a long time she did not see her husband. He came in the 
hours of darkness, and fled before the dawn of morning ; but his 
accents were full of love, and inspired a like passion in her. Often 
she begged him to stay and let her behold him, but he would not 
consent. "Having looked upon me," he said, "mayhap thou 
wouldst fear, mayhap adore, me ; but all I ask of thee is love. I 
would rather thou shouldst love me as an equal than adore me as a 
god/' This reasoning somewhat qtiietcd Psyche for a time. But 
the thought of her parents and of her sisters, left in ignorance oj 
her fate, preyed on her mind to such a degree that at lost, telling 




J 



I 
I 



MYTHS OF THE GREAT DiVINtTiES OF HEAVEN. 155 




her distress to her lord, she drew from him an unwilling consent 
that her sisters should be brought to see her. 

Zephyr, promptly obedient, soon brought them across the 
mountain down to their sister's valley. They embraced her, she 
returned their caresses, and then committed them to the care of 
her attendant voices, who should refresh them in her bath and 
at her table, and show them her treasures. The view of ihese 
delights caused envy to enter their bosoms. They plied their for- 
tunate sister with questions about her husband. Psyche replied 
that he was a beautiful youth, who generally spent the daytime in 
hunting upon the mountains. The sisters, not satisfied with this 
reply, soon made her confess that she had never seen him. Then 
they proceeded to fill her bosom with dark suspicions. Probably 
her husband was a dreadful monster, such as the Pythian oracle 
had prophesied. Probably he was a direful serpent, who nourished 
her now to devour her by and by. They advised her to provi<le 
herself against the night with a lamp and a sharp knife, told her 
what to do if her husband turned out the monster that they sur- 
mised, and, so saying, departed. 

These persuasions Psyche resisted as well as she could, but ihey 
did not fail to have their effect on her mind. She prepared a 
lamp and a sharp knife, and hid them out of sight of her husband. 
That night, when he had fallen into his first sleep, she silently 
rose and uncovering her lamp — 



Scsrcc kept back a ciy 
At what she saw; for there before her lay 
The very Love brighter than dawn of day; 
And OS he lay there smiling, her own name 
His gentle lips in sleep began to rrame, 
And, as to touch her face, his hand did move; 
O then, indeed, her fatiit heart swelled for love, 
And she began to sob, and tears fell fast 
Upon the bed. — But as she turned at last 
To <]uencb the lamp, there happed a little thing 
That quenched her new dcliglit, for flickering 
The treacherous flame cast nn his shoulder fair 



156 



C£u1SS/C NYTHS LV ENGLISH LITERATURE. 



A burning drop; he woke, and seeing hci there 
The meaning of that ftad sight knew full well. 
Nor was there need the piteous tale to tclL^ 



I 



Without a word, Cupid spread his white wings, and flew out of 
window. Psyche, in vain endeavoring to follow, fell lo the earth. 
For but an instant Cupid, staying, reproached her with distrust of 
him. "No other punishment inflict I than to leave thee forever. 
Love cannot dwell with suspicion." And so he flew away. 

When Psyche had recovered some degree of composure, she 
looked around her. The palace and gardens had vanished. She 
found herself not far from the city where her sisters dwelt. 
Thither she repaired, and told them the story of her misfortunes, 
whereat they inwardly rejoiced. " For now," thought they, " he 
will perhaps choose one of us." With this idea, they rose early 
the next morning and, ascending the mountain, each called upon 
Zephyr to receive her and bear her to his lord, then, leaping up, 
failed of the support of Zephyj", fell down the precipice, and was 
dashed to pieces. 

Psyche, meanwhile, wandered day and night, without food or 
repose, in search of her husband. Finally she reached a temple 
of Ceres, where she won the favor of the goddess by arranging in 
due order the heaps of mingled grain and cars and the carelessly 
scattered harvest implements that lay there. The holy Ceres 
then counselled her to submit to Venus, to try humbly to win her 
forgiveness, and, mayhap, through her favor regain the lover that 
was lost. 

Obeying the commands of Ceres, Psyche took her way to the 
temple of the golden-crowned Cypris. That goddess received her 
with angry countenance, called her an undutiful and faithless 
servant, taunted her with the wound given to her husband, and 
insisted that for so ill-favored a girl there was no way of meriting 
a lover save by dint of industry. Thereupon she ordered Psyche 
to be led to the storehouse of the temple, where was laid up a 

1 Wiltiain Morris. The Stor? of Cupid and Psyche, in The Earthly Paradise. 





■ MVT 



I 



I 



MYTHS OF THE GREAT DtVrNITlES OF HEAVEN. 157 

great quantity of wheal, barley, millet, vetches, beans, and lentils 
prepared for food for her pigeons, and gave order, *' Take and 
separate all these grains, putting all of the same kind in a parcel 
by themselves, — ^and see that tliou get it done before evening." 
This said, Venus departed, and left the girl to her task. Rut Psy- 
che, in perfect consternation at the enormous task, sat stupid and 
silent, nor would the work have been accomplished bad not Cupid 
stirred up the ants to take compassion on her. They separated 
the pile, sorting each kind to its parcel, and vanishing out of 
sight in \ moment. 

At the approach of twilight, Cytherea returned from the banquet 
of the gods, breathing odors and crowned with roses. Seeing 
the task done, she promptly exclaimed, "This is no work of thine, 
wicked one, but his, whom to thine own and his inisFortune thou 
hast enticed," — threw the girl a piece of black bread for her 
supper, and departed. 

Next morning, however, the goddess, ordering Psyche to be 
summoned, commanded her to fetch a sample of wool gathered 
from each of the golden-shining sheep that fed beyond a neigh- 
boring river. Obediently the princess went to the river-side, pre- 
pared to do her best to execute the command. But the god 
of that stream inspired the reeds with harmonious murmurs that 
dissuaded her frum venturing among the golden rams while 
they raged under the influence of the rising sun. Psyche, obser\'- 
ing the directions of the compassionate river-god, crossed when 
the noontide sun had driven the cattle to the shade, gathered 
the woolly gold from the bushes where it was clinging, and 
returned to Venus with her arms full of the shining fleece. But, 
far from commending her, that implacable mistress said, *' I know 
very well that by the aid of another thou hast done this ; not yet 
am I assured that thou hast skill to be of use. Here, now, take 
this box to Proserpine, and say, 'My mistress Venus entreats thee 
to send her a little of thy beauty, for in tending her sick son she 
hath lost some of her own.' " 

Psyche, satisBed that her destruction was at hand, doomed aa 



158 



CLASSIC MYTHS IiV ENGLISH LITERA TURK, 



she was to travel afcx)t to Erebus, thought to shorten the journey 
by precipilaiing herself, at once, from the summit of a tower. 
But a voice from the tower, restraining her from this rash purpose, 
explained how by a certain cave she might reach the realm of 
Pluto ; how she might avoid the peril of the road, pass by Cer- 
berus, and prevail on Charon to take her across the black river 
and bring her back again. The voice, also, especially cautioned her 
against prj'ing into the box filled with the beauty of Proserpine. 

So, taking heed to her ways, the unfortunate girl travelled safely 
to the kingdom of Pluto. She was admitted to the .palace of 
Proserpine, where, contenting herself with plain fare instead of the 
delicious banquet that was offered her, she delivered her message 
from Venus. Presently the box, filled with the precious commod- 
ity, was restored to her ; and glad was she to come out once more 
into the light of day. 

But having got so far successfully through her dajigerous task, 
a desire seized her to examine the contents of the box, and to 
spread the least bit of the divine beauty on her cheeks that she 
might appear to more advantage in the eyes of her beloved 
husband. 

Therewith down by the wayside did she sit 
And turned the box rounil, long regarding it; 
But at the 1uti with trembling liandb, undid 
TTic clasp, and fearfully raised up the lid; 
But what was there she saw not, for her head 
Fell back, and nothing she remembered 
Of all her life, yet nought of rest she had, 
The hope of which makes hapless mortals glad; 
For while her limbs were sunk in deadly sleep 
Most like to death, over her heart 'gan creep 
III dreams; bo that for fear and great distress 
She would have cried, but in her helplessness 
Could open not her mouth, or frame a word.^ 

But Cupid, now recovered from his wound, slipped through a 
crack in the window of his chamber, flew to the spot where his 

1 WUIUm Morris, llic Earthly Paradise. 



MYTHS OF THE GHEAT DlVimTIES OF HEAVEN. 159 

beloved lay, gathered up the sleep from her body and enclosed 
it again in the box ; then waked Psyche with the touch of an 
arrow. "Again," said he, "hast thou almost perished by tJiy 
curiosity. But now perform the task imposed upon thee by my 
mother, and I will care for the rest." 

Then Cupid, swift as lightning, penetrating the heights of 
heaven, presented himself before Jupiter with his s^ipplication. 
Jupiter lent a favoring ear, and pleaded the cause of the lovers 
with Venus. Gaining her consent, he ordered Mercury to convey 
Psyche to the heavenly abodes. On her advent, the king of the 
immortals, handing her a cup of ambrosia, said, " Drink this, Psy- 
che, and be immortal. Thy Cupid shall never break from the knot 
in which he is tied ; these nuptials shall, indeed, be perpetual.*' 

Thus Psyche was at last united to Cupid ; and in due season a 
daughter was bom to them whose name was Pleasure. 

The allegory of Cupid and Psyche is well presented in the 
following lines : — 

They wove bright fables in the tlays of old. 

When reason borrowed fancy'i paintetl wings; 
When truth's clear river flowed o'er sands of gold, 

And told in King its high and mystic things! 
And such the sweet and solema tale of her 

The pilgrim-heart, to whom a dream was given, 
Tliat led her through the world, — Love's worshipper, — 

To' seek on earth for him whose home was heaven I 

In the full city, — by the haunted fount, — 

Through the dim grotto's tracery of spars,— 
'Mid the pine temples, on the muonlit mount. 

Where silence sits to listen to the stars; 
In the deep glade where dwells the brooding dove. 

The painted valley, and the scented air, 
Sje heard far echoes of the voice of Love, 

And found his footsteps' traces everywhere. 

But never more they met I since doubts and fears, 
Those phantom-shapes that haunt and blight the earth. 

Had come 'twixt her. a child of sin and teort, 
And that bright spirit uf immortal birth; 



160 CLASSIC AfVTHS IN ENGLISH LITERATURE, 

Until her pining soul and weeping eyes 
Had learned to seek hina only in the skies; 
Till wings unto the weaty heart were given, 
And she became Luve's angel bride in heaven!^ 

Th e stoty of Cupid and Psyche first appears in the works of 
Apuleius, a wnler of the second century of our era. It is there- 
fore of much more recent date than most of the classic myths. 
To thi s fact Keats allude s in his exq uisite Ode to Psyche. 

"O Goddess 1 hear these tuneless numbers, wnmg 
By sweet enforcement and remembrance dear, 
And pardon that thy secrc;ts snoultl be sung 

Even into ibinc own suft-cunchv'd car: 
Surely I dreamt to day, or did I see 

T he winged Psych e wit h awakened eyes ^ 
I wandered in a forest thoughtlessly. 
And, on the sudden, f ainting with surpris e. 

S aw two fiair creatures, couchfed side by side 
I n deepest gg tss, be jieath the whispering roo f 
Of leaves and tumbled blossoms^ where t here ran 
A brooklet, scarce espied I 

** 'Mid bushed, cool-rooted flowers, fragrant- eyed, 
Blue, silver-white, and budded Tyrian, 
They lay calm -breathing on the budded grass; 
Their arms embraceJ, and their pinions, too; 
Their lips touched not, but had nut bade adieu, 
As if disjointed by soft-handed slumber, 
And ready still past kisses to outnumber 
At tender eye-dawn of Aururcan love: 

The wing&d boy I knew: 
But who wast thou, O happy, happy dove? 
His Psyche true ! 

**0 latest bom and lovelieit vision far 
Of all Olympus' faded hierarchy I 
Fair er than Fbcetje's sapphire-reeJoned star . 
Or Vesper, amorous glowworm of the sky; 

1 By T. K. Ik-ivey. 




MYTHS OF THE GREAT DIVmiTIES OF HEAVEN, 161 

Fairer than these, though temple thou hast none, 

Nor altar heaped with flowers; 
Nor virgin-chuir to niakc delicious nioaji 

Upon the midnight hours; 
No voice, no lute, no pipe, no incense sweet 

From chain-swung ccnacr teeming; 

No shrine, no grove, no oracle, no heat 

-Of pate-mouthed prophet dreaming. 

•^O brightest ! thoL'gh too late for antique rows, 

Too, too late lur the fond believing lyre, 
When holy were the haunted forest boughs. 

Holy the air, the walcr, and the fire; 
Yet even in these days so far retired 

From happy pieties, thy lucent fans. 

Fluttering among the faint Olympians, 
I sec, and sing, by my own eyes inspired. 
So let me he thy choir, and make a moan 

Upon the midnight hours; 
Thy voice, thy lute, thy pipe, thy incense sweet 

From swing&d censer teeming, 
Thy shrine, thy grove, tliy uracle, thy heat 

Of palc-mouthed prophet dreaming. 

" Yes, I will be thy priest, and build a fane 

In some untrodden region of my mind. 
Where branched thoughts, new grown with pleasant pain, 

Instead of pines shall murmur in the wind: 
Far, far around shall those dark-clustered trees 

Fledge the wild-ridgcd mountains steep by steep; 
And there by zephyrs, streams, and birds and bees. 

The moss-Iain Dr>'ai)5 shall be lulled to sleep; 
And in the midst of this wide quietness 
A rosy sanctuary will ! dress 
With the wreathed trdlis of a working brain. 

With buds, and bells, and stars without a name, 
With all the gardener Fancy e'er could feign, 

'^^^lO breeding flowers, will never breed the same; 
And there shall be for thee all soft delight 

That shadowy thought can win, 
A bright torch, and a c&scmcnt ope at night. 

To let the warm l^ve in I " 



162 



CLASSfC MYTHS IN ENGUSM UTERATUHE, 



§ 95. The loves of the devotees of Venus are as the sands of 
the sea for number. Below are given the fortunes of a few : 
Hippomenes, Hero, Pygmalion, Pyramus, and Phaon. The favor 
of the goddess toward Paris, who awarded her the palm of 
beauty in preference to Juno and Miner\'a, will occupy our 
attention in connection with the story of the Trojan War.' 

AtAlantA*s Race.' — Atalanta, the daughter of Schaeneus of 
Boeotia, had been warned by an oracle that marriage would be 
fatal to her happiness. Consequently 
she fled the society of men, and de- 
voted herself to the sports of the chase. 
Fair, fearless, swift and free : in beauty 
and in desire she was a Cynthia, — of 
mortal form, and with a woman's heart. 
To all suitors (for she had many) she 
made answer: " I will be the pri2e of 
him only who shall conquer me in the 
race ; but death must be the penalty 
of all who try and fail." In spite of 
this hard condition some would try. 
Of one such race Hippomenes was to 
be judge. It was his thought, at first, 
that these suitors risked too much foi 
a wife. But when he saw .Atalanta lay 
aside her robe for the race, he changed 
his mind, and began to swell with envy 
of those that seemed likely to win. 

The virgin darted forward. As she ran she looked more 
beautiful than ever. The breezes gave wings to her feet ; her 
hair flew over her shoulders, and the gay fringe of her garment 
fluttered behind her. A ruddy hue tinged the whiteness of her 
skin, such as a crimson curtain casts on a marble wall. Her com- 
petitors were distanced, and were put to death without mercy, 
Hippomenes, not daunted by this resuU, fixed his eyes on the 

J \ 167. ^ Ovid, Meiani. 10 . 56o-68a 




MYTHS OF THE GREAT DiVINlTiES OF HEAVEN. 163 

virgin, and said, " Why boast of beating those laggards ? I oflet 
myself for the contest." Atalanta looked at him with pity in 
her face, and hardly knew whether she would rather conquer 
so goodly a youth or not. While she hesitated, the spectators 
grew impatient for the contest, and her father prompted her to 
prepare. Then Hippomenes addressed a prayer to Cypris : 
" Help me, Venus, for thou hast impelled me." Venus heard, 
and was propitious. 

She gathered three golden apples from the garden of her tem- 
ple, in her own island of Cyprus, and, unseen by any, gave them 
to Hippomenes, telling him how to use them. Atalanta and her 
lover were ready. The signal was given. 



They both started; he, by one itride» fitft. 
Far she h^f pitied him so beautiful, 
Running lo meet his death, yet was resolved 
To conquer: soon she ncarM him, and he felt 
The rapid and repeated gush uf breath 
Behind his shoiJdcr. 

From his hand now dropt 
A golden apple: she lookt down and saw 
A glitter on the grass, yet on she ran. 
He dropt a second; now she seem'd lo stoop: 
He dropt a third; and now she stoopt indeed: 
Vet, swifter than a wren picks up a j^rain 
Of millet, rais'd her head: it was too late, 
Only one step, only one breath, too late. 
Hippomenes had toucht the mapte goal 
With but two fingers, leaning pronely forth. 
She stood in mute despair; the prize was won. 

Now each walkt slowly forward, both so tired, 
And both alike hrcathcd hard, and stopt at times. 
When be turn'd round to her, she lowered her face 
Cover'd with blushes, and held out her hand. 
The golden apple in it. 

■' Leave me now," 
Said she, " I must walk homeward." 

He did take 
The apple and the hand. 




16f 



CLASSIC MYTHS IN ENGLISH LITERATURE. 



" Both I detain," 
S;dd he. " the other two I dedicate 
To the two Powers that soften virgin heartjt. 
Eros and Aphrodite; and this one 
To her who ratifies the nuptial vow." 

She would have wept to see her father weep; 
But some God pitied her, and purple wings 
{What God's were they?) hovered and interposed.^ 

But the orncle was yet to be fulfilled. The lovers, full of 
their own happiness, after all, forgot to pay due honor to 
Aphrodite; and the goddess was provoked at their ingrati- 
tude. She caused them to give offence lo Cybele. That 
powerful goddess took from them their human form : the 
huntress heroine, triumphing in the blood of her lovers, she 
made a lioness; her lord and master a lion, ^ and yoked 
them to her car, where they are still to be seen in all repre- 
sentations, in statuary or painting, of the goddess Cybele. 

i 96. Hero and Leander.-' — 

On Hellespont, guilty of true love's blood. 
In view and opposite two cities stood, 
Sea-borderers, disjoin'd by Neptune's might 
The one Abydos, the other Sestos highl. 
At Sestos Hero dwelt; Hero the fair, 
Whom young Apollo courted for her hair, 
And offer'd as a dower his burning throne. 
Where she should sit, for men to gaze upon. . . . 

Some say, for her the fairest Cupid pin'd, 
And, looking in her face, was strooken blind. 
But this is true : so like was one the other. 
As he imagined Hero was his mother; 
And oftentimes into her bosom flew. 
About her naked neck his bare amis threw. 
And laid his childUh head upon her breast. 
And, with still panting rockt, there took his rest 



1 From W. S. Lander's Hlppomcnes and Atalanta. 

'' The poetical passages arc from Marlowe'% Ileru and Leander, First Sestlad. 
Ntarlowe's narrative was completed by Chapman. .See Muso'U* of Alexandria, De 
Amore Hemis cl l^eandri ; Verg. Georg. 3:258; Ovid, Her. r8 to; Stat. Theb. fi;53S. 





MYTffS Of THE GREAT DIVINITIES OF HEAVEN. l65 

In Abydos dwelt the manly Leander, who, as luck would have 
it, bethought himself one day of the festival of Venus in Scstos, 
and thither fared to do obeisance to the goddess. 

On this feast-day, — O cursid day and hour I-— 

Went Hero thorough Scstos, from her tower 

To Venus' temple, where unhappily, 

As after chanc'd, they did each other spy. 

So fair a church a:s this had Venus none; 

The walls were of disculurcd jasper-stone, . , . 

And in the midst a silver altar stood: 

There Hero, »acriticiiig turtle's blood, 

Vaird tu the ground, veiling her eyelids close; 

And modestly they opened as she rose: 

Thence flew Love's arrow with the golden bead; 

And thus Leandcr was enamoured. 

Stone-slill he stood, and evermore he gaz'd, 

mi with the Are, that from his countenance bUu'd, 

Relenting Hero's gentle heart was stroolc: 

Such power and virtue hath an amorous look. 

It lies not in our power to love or hate. 
For will in us is overrul'd by fate. 
When two arc stript long e'er the course begin. 
We wish that one should lose, the other win; 
And one espt:cially du we affect 
Of two gold ingots, like in each respect: 
The reason no inan knows; let it suffice. 
What we behold is censur'd by our eyes. 
Where both deliberate, the love is slight: 
Who ever lov'd, that lov'd not at first ught? 

He kncel'd; but unto ktr devoutly prayed: 
Chaste Tlero to herself ^hus softly said, 
•Were I the saint he worships, I would hear him'; 
And, as she spake those words, came somewhat near him. 
He started up; she blushed as one asham'd; 
Wherewith l.eander much more was inflam'd. 
He louch'd her hand; in touching it she trembled: 
Love deeply grounded, hardly is dissembled. . . . 



166 



Cl^SS/C MYTHS fiV ENGIJSH UTERATURE^ 



So they conversed by touch of hands, till Leander, plucking 
up courage^ began to plead with words, with s»ghs and tears. 

These arguinenU he usM, and many more; 
Wherewith she yielded, that was won befure. 
Hero's luoks yiclttciJ, l»ul htrr words made war : 
Women arc won when (hey begin to jar. 
Thus having swallowM Cupid's gulden hook. 
The more she strjv'd, the deeper was she strook: 
Yet, evilly feigning anger, strove she still. 
And would be thought to ^ant against her will. 
So having paus'd awhile, at last she said, 
'Who taught thcc rhetoric to deceive a maid? 
Ay me ! such words as these should I abhoTr 
And yet I like them for the orator.' 
With that Leander stoopM to have erabrac'd her, 
Bat from his spreading arms away she cast her. 
And thus bespake him : * Gentle youth, forbear 
To touch the sacred garments which 1 wear.' . . . 



Then she told him of the turret by the murmuring sea where 
all day long she tended Venus' swans and sparrows : — 

^, 'Come thither.* As she spake this, her tongue tripp'd, 

Kor unawares, 'Come thither,' from her slipp'd; 

And suddenly her former colour chang'd, 
And here ami there her eyes through anger raDg'd; 
And, like a planet moving several ways 
At one self instant, she, poor soul, assays. 
Loving, not to love at all, and every part 
Strove to resist the motions of her heart : 
And bands sn pure, so innocent, nay, such 
As might have made Heaven stoop to have a toocbt 
Did she uphold to Venus, and again 
VowM spotless chastity: but all in vain; 
Cupid beats down her prayers with his wings. . ■ . 

For a season all went well. Guided by a torch which his 
mistress reared upon the tower, he was wont of nights to swim 
the strait, that he might enjoy her company. But one night a 
tempest arose, and the sea was rough ; his strength failed, and he 




MYTHS OF THE GREAT DIVINITIES OF HEAVEN, 167 



was drowned. l*he waves bore his body to the European shore, 
where Hero became aware of his death, and in her despair cast 
herself into the sea and perished. 

A picture of the drowning Leander is thus described by 
Keats * : — 

Come hither all sweet maidens soberly. 

Down luoking aye, and with a chasten'd light, 

Hid in the fringes of your eyelids white, 
And meekly let your fair hands joined be, 
As if so gentle that yc could not sec, 

Untouch'd, a victim of your beauty bright. 

Sinking away to his young spirit's night, 
Sinking bewUder'd 'mid the tircary sea. 
Tis young Leander toiling to his death. 

Nigh swooning he doth purse his wear)* lips 
For Hero's cheek, and smiles against her limile. 

O horrid dream! see how his body dips 
Dead-heavy; arms and shoulders gleam awhile; 
He's gone; up bubbles all his amorous breath! 

S 97- Pygmalion and the Statue.* — Pygmalion saw so much 
to blame in women, that he came at last to abhor the sex rnd 
resolved to live unmarried. He was a sculptor, and had made 
with wonderful skill a statue of ivory, so beautiful that no living 
woman was to compare with it. It was indeed the perfect sem- 
blance of a maiden that seemed to be alive, and that was pre- 
vented from moving only by modesty. His art was so perfect 
that it concealed itself, and its product looked like the workman- 
ship of nature. Pygmalion at last fell in love with his counterfeit 
creation. Oftentimes he laid his hand upon it as if to assure 
himself whether it were living or not, and could not even then 
believe that it was only ivory. 

The festival of Venus was at hand, — a festival celebrated with 
great pomp at Cyprus. Victims were offered, the altars smoked, 
and the odor of incense filled the air. When Pygmalion had 

1 Sonnet : Oh a Ftctutf of i^antUr. ' 
* Ovid, Metam. 10:243-397. 





CLASSIC MYTHS IN ENGLISH UTERATURE. 

performed his part in the solemnities, he stood before the altar 
and, according to one of our poets, timidly said : — 

"O Aphrodite, kind and fair, 

Thftt what thou wilt canst give* 
Oh, listen to a sculptor's pra>*ct» 

And bid mine image live 1 
Fot roc the ivory and gold 

That clothe her cedar frame 
Are beautiful, Indeed, but cold; 

Ah, touch them with thy flame! 
Oh, bid her inuvc those lips of rose. 

Bid 6oat (hat golden hair, 
And let her choose me, as I chose^ 

This fairest of the Cairt 
And then an altar in thy court 

I'll offer, decked with gold; 
And there thy servants shall resort, 

Thy duvcs be bought and sold!"' 

According to another version of the story, he said not, " bid 
mine image live," but *' one like my ivory virgin," At any rale, 
wiih such a prayer, he threw incense on the flame of the altar. 
Whereupon Venus, as an omen of her favor, caused the flame to 
shoot up thrice a fiery point into the air. 

^V'hen Pygmalion renrhed his home, to his amazement he saw 
before him his statue garlanded with flowers. 

Vet while he !.ti>od, and knew not whit to do 
With yearning, a strange thrill of hope there came, 
A shaft of new desire now pierced him through, 
And therewithal a soft voice called his name. 
And when he turned, with eager eycfl aHame, 
lie saw betwixt him and the setting sun 
The lively image of bis lovid one. 

He trembled at the sight, for though her eyea, 
Her VCT)" lips, were such as he had made, 
And though her tresses fell but in such guise 
Ai be had wrought them, now was she arrayed 



> Andrew Lang, The New Pygmalion, 



MYTHS OF TffB GREAT DIVINITIES OF HEAVEN. 169 

In that faic garment that the priests had laid 
Upon the goddess on that very morn. 
Dyed like the setting sun upon the com. 

Speechless he stood, but she oow drew anear. 
Simple and sweet as she was wont to be, 
And once again her silver voice rang clear. 
Killing his stml with great felicity, 
And thus she spoke, "Wilt thou not come to nie, 

dear companion of my new found life. 
For 1 am called thy lover and thy wife? . . . 

•* My sweet," she said, •• as yet I am not wise, 
Or stored with words aright the laic to tell. 
But listen : when I opened lirst mine eyes 

1 stood within the niche thou knowest well, 
And from my hand a heavy thing there fell 
Carved like these flowers, nor could I see things clear, 
But with a strange, confused noifrc cuuld hear. 

"At last mine eyes could see a woman fair, 
But awful as this round white moon o'erhead. 
So that I trembled when I saw her there, 
For with my life was born some touch of dread, 
And therewithal I heard her voice that said, 
'.Come down and learn to love and be alive, 
For thee, a weU-prized gift, to*day I give.'"^ 

A fuller account of Venus' address to the statue is the 
following : — 

** O maiden, in mine image made ! 
grace that shouldst endure! 
While temples fall, and empires fade. 

Immaculately pure : 
Exchange this endless life of art 

For beauty that must die^ 
And blossom with a beating heart 

Into mortality ! 
Change, golden tresses of her hair. 
To gold that turns to gray; 

1 From William Morris. Pygmalion and the Image, in The Earthly Paradise. 



170 CLASSIC MYTHS AV ENGLISH LITERATURE. 

Change, silent lips, forerer fair. 

To lips that have their day ! 
Oh, perfect arms, grow soft with life, 

Wax warm, ere cold ye uane; 
Wake, woman's heart, from peace to strife. 

To love, to joy, to pain I " * 

The maiden was called Galatea. Venus blessed the nuptials, 
and from the union Paphos was born, by whose name the city, 
sacred to Venus, is known. 

S 98. Pyramus and Tliisbe.- — Pyramiis was the handsomest 
youth, and riiislje the fairest maiden, in Babylonia, where Semir- 
amis reigned. Their parents occupied adjoining houses. Pro- 
pinquity brought the young people together, and acquaintance 
ripened into love. I'hey would gladly have married, but their 
parents forbade. One thing, however, parents could not forbid 
(for Venus and Cupid favored the match), — that love should 
glow with equal ardor in the bosoms of both. They conversed 
by signs and glances, and the fire burned the more intensely that 
it was covered. In the wall between the two houses there was a 
crack, caused by some fault in the structure. It afforded a pas- 
sage to the voice ; and tender messages passed back and forth 
through the gap. When night came and they must say farewell, 
the lovers pressed their lips upon the wall, she on her side, he 
on his. 

One morning, when Aurora had put out the stars, and the sun 
had melted the frost from the grass, they met at the accustomed 
spot, and arrange<l a meeting for that night, at a well-known 
edifice, standing without the city's bounds, — the Tomb of Nintis. 
The one who first arrived should await the other at the foot of a 
white mulberry- tree, near a cool spring. Evening came. Thisbe, 
arriving first, sat alone by the monument in the dim light of the 
evening. Suddenly she descried a lioness, her jaws reeking with 

1 Andrew Lang, The New Pygmalion, or The Statue's Choice. A witty and 
exquisite bit of burlesque. 
3 Ovid, Metam. 4 : 55-166. 




MYTHS OF THE GREAT DiVINiTIES Oh HEAVED. 171 



V vVl 

H recent slaughter, approaching the fountain to slake her thinjt. 
The maiden fled at the sight, dropping her veil as she ran. The 
tioness. after drinking at the spring, turned toward the woods, and, 
seeing the veil on the ground, tossed and rent it with her bloody 
mouth. 

Now Pyramus approached the place of meeting. He saw in 
the sand the footsteps of the lion. Ke found the veil all rent 
and bloody. "O, hapless girl," cried he, " I have been the cause 
of thy death ; but I follow ihee ! " So siiying, he drew his sword 
and plunged it into his heart. The blond spurted from the 
wound, and tinged the white mulberries of the tree all red, and, 
sinking into the earth, reached the roots, so that the sanguine 
hue mounted through the tnmk to (he fniit. 

By this time, Thisbe, still trembling with fear, yet wishing not 
to disappoint lier lover, stepped cautiously furih. looking anxiously 
for the youth, eager to tell him the danger she had escaped. 
When she came to the spot and saw the changed color of the 
mulberries, she doubted whether it was the same place. While 
she hesitated, she saw the form of her lover struggling in the 
agonies of death. She screamed and beat her breast, she eni- 
braced the lifeless body, poured tears into its wounds, and 
imprinted kisses on the cold lips. '* O, ryramus," she cried, 
'*what has tlone this? It is thine own Thisbe that speaks." At 
the name of Thisbe Pyramus opened his eyes, then closed them 
again. She saw her veil stained with blood and the scabbard 
empty of its sword. "Thine own hand has sSain thee, and for my 
sake," she said. " I, too, can be brave for once, and my love is 
as strong as thine. But ye, unhappy parents of us both, deny us 
not our united request. As Inve antJ death have joined us, lei 
one torab contain us. And thou, tree, retain the marks of 
slaughter. Let thy l>erries still serve for memorials of our blood," 
So saying, she plunged the sword into her breast. The two 
bodies were buried in one sepulchre, and the tree henceforth 
produced purple berries. 

% 99. Phaon ferried a boat between Lesbos and Chios. One 



ClASSrC MYTHS IN ENGLISH UTERATURE, 

day the queen of Paphos and Amathus,* in the guise of an ugly 
crone, begged a passage, which was so good-naturedly granted 
that, in recompense^ she bestowed on the ferryman a salve pos- 
sessing magical properties of youth ami beauty. As a conse- 
quence of the use made of it by Phaon, the women of Lesbos 
went wild for love of him. None, however, admired him more 
than the poetess Sappho, who addressed to hira some of her 
warmest and rarest love-songs. 

§ too. Venus did not fail to follow with her vengeance those 
who dishonored her rites or defied her power. The youth Hip- 
polytus who, eschewing love, preferred Diana to her, she brought 
miserably lo his rain (§ 'S?). Polyphonic she transformed into 
an owl, Arsinoc into a stone, and Myrrha into a niyrtlc-trec.' 
Her influence in the main was of mingled bane and blessing ; as 
in the cases of Helen, CEnone, Pasiphae, Ariadne, Procris, Eri- 
phyle, Laodamia, and others whose stories are elsewhere told.* 



8. Mercury. 

§ loi. Homer's Hymn to Mercury, — Maia bore Mercury at 
the peep of day, — a schemer subtle l»eyond all belief. He 
began playing on the lyre at noon ; for, wandering out of the 
lofty cavern of Cyllene» he found a tortoise, picked it up, bored 
the life out of the beast, fitted the shell with bridge and reeds, 
and accompanied himself therewith as he sang a strain of unpre- 
meditated sweetness. At evening of the same day, he stole the 
oxen of his half-broiher Apollu from the Pierian mountains, 
where they were grazing. He covered their hoofs with tama- 
risk twigs, and, still further to deceive the pursuer, drove them 
backward into a cave at Pylos. There rubbing laurel branches 
together, he made fire, and sacrificed, as an example for men to 
follow, two heifers to the twelve gods (himself included). Then 

^ $ 93 and Commentary. 

S Murray, Manunt of Mythology, p. 87; Ovid, Metam. io:a98-5aa. 

* See Index and Dictionary for sections. 




MYTHS OF THE GREAT DfVrNlTTES OF HEAVEN. 173 



home he went and slept, innocent as a new-born child ! To his 
mother's warning that ApoUo would catch and punish him, this 
innocent replied^ in elTect, '* I know a trick better than that ! " 
And when the ])iuzled Apollo, having traced the knavery to this 
babe in swaddling clothes, accused him of it, the sweet boy 
swore a great oath by his father's head that he stole not the 
cows, nor knew even what cows might be, for he had only that 
moment heard the name of them. Apollo proceeded to trounce 
the baby ; with scant success, however, for Mercury persisted in 
his assumption of ignorance. So the twain appeared before their 
sire, and Apollo entered his complaint: he had not seen nor 
ever dreamed of so precocious a cattle-stealer, liar, and full- 
fledged knave as this young rascal. To all of which Mercury 
responded that he was, on the contrary, a veracious person, but 
that his brother Apollo was a coward to bully a helpless little new- 
bom thing that slept, nor ever had thought of" lifting " cattle. The 
wink witli which the Ud of Cyllene accompanied this asseveration 
threw Jupiter into uncontrollable roars of laughter. Consequently, 
the quarrel was patched up : Mercury gave Apollo the new-made 
lyre ; Apollo presented the prodigy with a glittering whip-lash, and 
installed him herdsman of his oxen. Nay even, when Mercury 
had sworn by saircd Styx no more to try his cunning in theft 
upon Apollo, that god in gratitude invested him with the magic 
wand of wealth, happiness, and dreams (the caduceus)^ it being 
understood, however, that Mercury should indicate the future only 
by signs, not by si>eech or song, as did Apollo. It is said that 
the god of gain avenged himself, for this enforced rectitude, upon 
others : upon Venus, whose girdle he purloined ; upon Neptune, 
whose trident he filched ; upon Vulcan, whose tongs he borrowed ; 
and upon Mars, whose sword he stole. 

The most famous exploit of the Messenger, the slaughter of 
Argus, has already been narrated.' 

M59. 



174 



CLASSIC MYTHS IN HNGUSH UTEHATVHE. 



CHAPTER XI. 



MYTHS OF THE GREAT DIVINITIES OF EARTH. 



M\THS OF BaCCHUn. 

§ I02. Since the adventures of Ceres, although she was a god- 
dess of earth, are intimately connected with the life of the under- 
world, they will be related in the sections jjcrtaining to Proserpine 
and Plmo. The ^od of vernal sap and vegecaiion, of the gladness 

that comes of youth or 
of wine, the gold en - 
curled, sleepy-eyed Bac- 
chus, — his wanderings, 
and the fortunes of mor- 
tals brought under his 
influence : Penthcus, 
Acetes, Ariadne, and Mi- 
das, here challenge our 
attention. 

The Wanderings of 
Bacchus. — After the 
death of Semelc,' Jove 
took the infant Bacchus 
and gave him in charge 
to the Nysaean nymphs, 
who nourished his infancy and childhood, and for their care 
were placed by Jupiter as the Hyades, among the stars. An- 
other guardian and tutor of young Bacchus was the pot-bel- 
lied, jovial^jSilfiiuy^ son o f Pan nnd a nymph, and olde ^y of t he 
Saty^. Silenus was probably an indulgent preceptor. He was 

If 63. 





MYTHS OF THE GREAT DIVINITIES OF EARTH. 175 

generally tip sy, and would have broken his neck early in his 
career, had not the Satyrs held him on his ass's back as he reeled 
along in the train of his pupil. Aft er Bacchus was of age, he 
discovered the culture of the vine and the mode of extracting its 
precious juice ; but juno struck him with mad ness, and drove him 
forth a wanderer through various parts of the earth. In Phrygia 
the goddess Rhea cured him and taught him her religious rites ; 
and then he set out on a progress through Asia, te^ic ^n g the 
people the cultivation of the vine. The most famous part of his 




.v/^ 



wanderings is his expedition to India, which is said to have lasted 
several years. Returning in triumph, he undertook to introduce 
his w orship into G reece, b ut was opposed by certain princ es 
who dreaded the disorders and madness it brought with it. Fi- 
nally he approached his native city Thebes, where his own 
cousin, Penthcus . son of Agave and grandson of Hannonia and 
Cadm ius, was king. Pentheus, however, had no respect for the 
new worship, and forbade its rites to be performed.' But when 
it was known that Bacchus was advancing, men and women, young 
and old, poured forth to meet him and to join his triumphal 
march. 

1 Ovid, Metam. 3:511-733. 




CLASSJC jWVTHS /A' ENGLISH UTERATVRB. 

F« un» with youthful Bacchus foUa w; Round about him fair Bacchantes, 
I vy crowns that broW| fcupein al Bearing cymbals, flutes and Ihyrscs. 

As t he forehead of Apol lo, Wild from Naxian gioves or Zante's 
And possessing youth elenud. Vineyards, sing delirious verses.* 

It was in vain Pentheus remonstrated, commanded, and threat- 
ened. His nearest friends and wisest counsellors begged him not 
to oppose the god. Their remonstrances only made him the more 
violent. 

§ 103. The Story of Acetea. — Soon the attendants returned 
who had been despatched to seize Bacchus. They had suc- 
ceeded in taking one of the Bacchanals prisoner, whom, with 
his hands tied behind him, they brought before the king. Pen- 
theus, threatening him with death, commanded him to tell who 
he was and what these new rites were that he presumed to 
celebrate. 

The prisoner, unterrified, replied that he was Acetes of Mseonia; 
that his parents, being poor, had left him their fisherman's trade, 
which he had followed till he had acquired the pilot's art of steer- 
ing his course by the stars. It once happened that he had touched 
at the island of Dia, and had sent his men ashore for fresh water. 
They returned, bringing with ihem a lad of delicate appearance 
whom they had found asleep. Judging him to be a noble youth, 
they thought to detain him in the hope of liberal ransom. But 
Acetes suspected that some god was concealed under the youth's 
exterior, and asked pnrdon for the violence done. Whereupon 
the sailors, enraged by their hist of gain, exclaimed, "Spare thy 
prayers for us 1" and, in spite of the resistance offered by Acetes, 
thrust the captive youth on board and set sail. 

Then Bacchus (for the youth was indeed he), as if shaking 
off his drowsiness, asked what the trouble was, and whither 
they were carrying him. One of the mariners replied, "Fear 
nothing ; tell us where thou wouldst go, and we will convey thee 
thither-" " Naxos is my home," said Bacchus ; '* take rae there, 

LongfeUow, Drinking Song. 





MYTHS OF THE GREAT DIVINITIES OF EARTH. 177 



and ye shall be well rewarded." They promised so to do ; but, 
preventing the pilot from steering toward Naxos, they bore away 
for Egypt, where they might sell the lad into slavery. Soon the 
god looked out over the sea, and said in a voice of weeping, 
'* Sailors, these are not the shores ye promised rac ; yonder 
island is not my home. It is small glory ye shall gain by 
cheating a poor boy.*' Acetes wept to hear him ; but the crew 
laughed at both of them, and sped the vessel fast over the sea. 
All at once it stopped, in mid sea, as fast as if it were fixed on 
the ground. The men, astonished, pulled at their oars, and spread 
more sail, but all in vain. Ivy twined round the oars and clung 
to the sails, with heavy clusters of berries, A vine, laden with 
grapes, ran up the mast and along the sides of the vessel. The 
sound of flutes was heard, and the odor of fragrant wine spread 
all around. The god himself had a chaplet of vine leaves, and 
bore in his hand a spear wreathed with ivy. Tigers crouched at 
his feet, and forms of l>*nxes and spotted panthers played around 
him. The whole crew became dolphins and swam about the ship. 
Of twenty men Acetes alone was left. " Fear not," said the 

god; "steer towards Naxos." 

The pilot obeyed, and when 

they arrived there, kindled the 

altars and celebrated the sacred rites 

of Bacchus. 

So far had Acetes advanced in his 
narrative, when Pentheus, interrupting, 
ordered hira off to his death. But from 
this fate the pilot, rendered invisible 
by his patron deity, was straightway 
rescued. 

Meanwhile the mountain Cithaeron 
seemed alive with worshippers, and the 
cries of the Bacchanals resounded on 
every side. Pentheus, angered by the noise, penetrated through 
the wood, and reached an open space where the chief scene 



178 



CLASSIC MYTHS IN ENGLISH LITERATURE. 



of the orgies met his eyes. At the same moment the women 
saw him, among them his mother, Agave, and Autonoe and Ino, 
her sisters. Taking him for a wild boar, they rushed upon him 
and tore him to pieces, — his mother shouting, " Victory I Vic- 
tory ! the glory is ours I " 

So the worship of Bacchus was established in Greece. 

It was on the island of Naxos that Bacchus afterward found 
Ariadne, — the daughter of Minos, kmg of Crete, — who had been 
deserted by her lover, Theseus. How Bacchus comforted her is 
related in another section.' 

Behold, heboid ! the granite gates uncloic. 
And down the vales a lyric people flows; 
Dancing to music, in their dance they fling 
Their frantic rohes to every wind that blows, 
And deathless praises to the vine-god atng. 





Nearer they press, and nearer still in sight. 
Still dancing blithely in a seemly choir; 
Tossing on high the symbol of their rite, 
The cone-tipped thyrsus (.if a god's desire; 
Nearer they come, tall damsels Rushed and fair. 
With ivy circling their abundant hair: 
Onward, with even pace, in stalely rows, 
With eye that flashes, and with chee^ that glows, 
And all the while their tribute-songs they bring, 
And newer glories of the past disclose, 
And deathless praises to the Wne-god sing. 



MYTHS OF THE GREAT OIViNITlES OF EARTH. 179 



. . . But oh ! within the be&rt of this great flight, 
Whose ivory arms hold up the gulden lyre? 
What lorm is this uf mure than mortal height? 
What Qiatchless beauty, what inspirit ire! 
'I"he brindled panthers know the prize they bear, 
And harmonize their steps with stately care; 
Bent tc the morning, like a living rose. 
The immortal splendor of his face he shows. 
And where he glances, leaf and Rower and wing 
Tremble with rapture, stirred in their repose, 
And deathless praises to the vine-god sing.* • . . 

§ 104. The Choice of King Midas.* — Once Silenus, having 
wandered from the company of Hacchus in an intoxicated con- 
dition, was found by some peasants, who 
carried him to their king, Midas. Midas 
entertained him royally, and on the 
eleventh day restored him in safety, to 
hif divine pupil. Whereupon Bacchus 
offered Midas his choice of a reward. 
The king asked that whatever he might 
touch should be changed into gold. Bacchus consented. Midas 
hastened to put his new-acquired power to the test. A twig of an 
oak. which he plucked from the liranth, became gold in his hand. 
He took up a stone ; it changed to gold. He touched a sod, with 
the same result. He took an apple from the tree ; you would 
have thought he had robbed the garden of the Hesperides. He 
ordered his servants, then, to set an excellent meal on the table. 
But, to his dismay, when he touched bread, it hardened in his 
hand ; when he put a morsel to his Hps, it ilefied his teeth. He 
took a glass uf wine, but it flowed down his throat like melted gold. 

He strove to divest himself of his power; he hated the gift 
he had lately coveted. He raised his arms, all shining with gold, 
in prayer to Bacchus, begging to l)e delivered from this glittering 
destruction. The merciful deity heard, and sent him to wash 

' From The Praise of Dionysus, by Edmund Gosse. 
S Ovid. Metam. 11:85-145. 



CtASS/C AfYTHS JX EKGUSfi LITERATURE, 

away his fault and its punishment in the fountain head of the 
river Paclolus. Scarce had Midas touched the waters, before 
the gold-creating power passed into them, and the river sands 
became golden, as they remain to this day. 

Thenceforth Midasj hating we:ilth and splendor, dwelt in the 
country, and became a worshipper of Pan, the god of the fields. 
But that he had net gained common sense is shown by the decis- 
ion that he delivered somewhat later in favor of Pan's superiority, 
as a musician, over Apollo.* 

' !See S S3. 





I 



CHAPTER XII 



from the earth to the underworld 
Myths of Ceres, Pluto, and Proserpine. 



The search of Ceres for Proserpine, and of Orpheus for Eury- 
dice, are stories pertaining both to Earth and Hades. 

1 105. The Rape of Proserpine.' — When the giants were 
imprisoned by Jupiter under Mount ^tna, Pluto feared lest the 
shock of their fall might expose his kingdom to the light of day. 
Under this apprehension, he mounted his chariot, drawn by black 
horses, and made a circuit of inspection to satisfy himself of the 
extent of the damage. While he was thus engaged, Venus, who 
was sitting on Mount Eryx playing with her boy Cupid, espied 
him, and said, ** My son, take thy darts which subdue all, even 
Jove himself, and send one into the breast of yonder dark mon- 
arch, who rules the realm of Tartarus. Dost thou not see that 
even in heaven some despise our power? Minerva and Diana 
defy us ; and there is that daughter of Ceres, who threatens to 
follow their example. Now, if thou regardest thine own interest 
or mine, join these two in one." The boy selected his sharpest 
and truest arrow, and sped it right to the heart of Pluto. 



^ Orid. Metom. 5 : 341-437* 





CLASSICy^ MYTHS IN ENGUSH UTF.RATURE. 

away his^*^ale of Enna is a lake embowered in woods, where 
rivcFj^^eigns perpetual. Here IVoscrpine was playing with her 
tUrfmpanions, gathering hiies and violets, when Pluto saw her, lovtd 
her, anrl carried her 4)(T, She screamed for help to her mother 
and her companions ; but the ravisher urged on his steeds, and out- 
distanced pursuit. When he reached the river Cyane, it opposed 
his passage, whereupon he struck the bank with his Indent, and 
the earth opened and gave him a passage to I'artarus. 

The Wanderings of Ceres.' — Ceres sought her daughter all the 
world over, iiright-hairod Aurora, when she came forth in the 
morning, and Hespems, when he led out the stars in the evening, 
found her still busy in the search. At length, weary and sad, she 
sat down upon a stone, and remained nine days and nights, in 
the open air, under the sunlight and moonlight and falhng 
showers. It was where now stands the city of EP'usis, near the 
home of an old man named Celeus, His little girl, pitying the 
old woman, said to her, " Mother," — and the name was sweet 
to the ears of Ceres, — " why sittest thou here alone upon the 
rocks?" The old man begged her to come into his cottage. 
She declined. He urged her. "Go in peace," she replied, "and 
be happy in thy daughter ; I have lost mine," But their com- 
passion finally prevailed. Ceres rose from the stone and went 
with them. As they walked, Celeus said that his only son lay 
sick of a fever. The goddess stooped and gathered some 
poppies. Then, entering the cottage, where all was in distress, 
— for the boy, Triptolemus, seemed past recovery, — she restored 
the child to life and health with a kiss. In grateful happi- 
ness the family spread the table, and put upon it curds and 
cream, apples, and honey in the comb. While they ate, Ceres 
mingled poppy juice in the milk of the hoy. When night came, 
she arose and, taking the sleeping hoy, moulded his limbs with 
her hands, and uttered over him three times a solemn charra, 
then went and laid him in the ashes. His mother, who had been 
watching what her guest was doing, sprang forward with a cry 
t Ovid, Meum. 5: 440, 643; Apollodoms. I. <;. \ a; Hyginus, Fmb. 147. 




I 



FROM THE EARTH TO THE UNDERWORLD, 



and snatched the child from the fire. Then Ceres assumed her 
own form, and a divine splendor shone all around. While they 
were overcome with astonishment, she said, " Mother, thou hast 
been cruel in thy fondness; for I would have made thy son 
immortal. Nevertheless, he shall be great and useful. He shall 
teach men the use of the plough, and the rewards which labor 
can win from the soil." So saying, she wrapped a cloud about 
her, and mounting her chariot rode away, 

Ceres continued her search for her daughter, till at length she 
returned to Sicily, whence she at first set out, and stood by the 
banks of the river Cyane. The river nymph would have told 
the goddess all she had witnessed, but dared not, for fear of 
Pluto ; so she ventured merely to take up the girdle which Proser- 
pine had dropped in her flight, and float it to the feet of the 
mother. Ceres, seeing this, laid her curse on the innocent earth 
in which her daughter had disappeared. Then succeeded drought 
and famine, flood and plague, luitily at last, the fountain Arethusa 
made intercession for the land. For she had seen that it opened 
only unwillingly to the might of Pluto ; and she had also, in her 
flight from Alpheus through the lower regions of the earth, beheld 
the missing Proserpine. She said that the daughter of Ceres 
seemed sad, but no longer showed alarm in her countenance. 
Her look was such 
as became a queen, 
— the queen of Ere- 
bus ; the powerful 
bride of the monarch 
of the realms of the 
dead. 

When Ceres heard 
this, she stood a while 
like one stupefied; 
then she implored Jupiter to interfere to procure the restitution 
of her daughter. Jupiter consented on condition that Proseniiiie 
ghould not during her stay in the lower world have taken any 




184 



CLASSIC MYTHS IN ENGLISH LITERATURE, 



food; otherwise, the Fates forbade her release. Accordingly, 

Mercury was sent, accompanied by Spring, to demand Proserpine 
of Pluto. The wily monarch consented j but alas 1 the maiden 
had taken a pomegranate which PUito offered her, and had 
sucked the sweet pulp from a few of the seeds. A compromise, 
however, was eflected by which she was to pass half the time 
with her mother, and the rest with the lord of Hades. 

§ io6. Triptolemus and the Eleusinian Mysteries. — Ceres, 
pacified with this arrangement, restureJ the earth to her favor. 
Now she remembered, also, Celeus and his family, and her prom- 
ise to his infant sun Triptolemus. She taught the boy the use 
of the plough^ and how to sow the seed. She took him in her 
chariot, drawn by winged dragons, through all the countries of 
the earth ; and under her guidance he imparted to mankind valu- 
able grains, and the knowledge of agriculture. After his return, 
Triptolemus built a temple to Ceres in Eleusis, and established 
the worship of the goddess, under the name of the Kleusinian 
mysteries^ which, tn the splendor and solemnity of their obser\'- 
ance, surpassed all other religious celebrations among the Greeks. 



Sacred Gorldcss, Mother Earth, 
Thou from whose immurtal busum, 

Gods, and men, and beasts, have birth, 
Leaf and blaHc, anil bud and blossoiD, 

Breathe ihiiic influence most divine 

On thine own child, Proserpine. 





uHPHEUS AND EURYOICE. LtifhtOH. 



mOM THE BARTH TO THE UNDE/i WORLD. 



185 



** If with mills of evening dew 

Thou dost nourish these young 6owen 
Till tlicy grow, in scent and hue, 

Fairest children of the hours. 
Breathe thine influence most divine 
On thine own child, Proserpine." ^ 

§ 107. O rpheus and Eury dice.* — Of mortals who have visited 
Hades and returned, none has a sweeter or sadder h istory jhan 
Orph eus, spg^f Apollo and the Muse C allioELe . Presented by 
h is father with a lyre and taught to play upon i t, he became the 
most famous of musician s ; and not only his fellow-mortals but 
ev en the wild beasts were softened bv his strainj . Tlievery 
ire p and rocks we re sensible to the charm . And so also was 
Kurydice, — whom he loved and won. 

Hymen was called to bless with his presence the nuptials of 
Orpheus with Eurydice, hut he 
brought no happy omens with hira. 
His torch smoked and brought 
tears into the eyes. In coinci- 
dence with such prognostics, 
Eurydice, shortly after her mar- 
riage, was seen by the shepherd 
Aristseus, who was struck with 
her beauty, and made advances 
to her. In flying she trod upon 
a snake in the grass, was bitten 
in the foot, and died. Orpheus 
s^^g his grief to all who breathed 
the upper air, both gods and 
men, and finding his complaint 
of no avail, resolved to seek his 
wi fe in the regions of t he dead. He descended by a cave situated 
on the side of the promontory of Taenarus, and arrived in the 




^ P. B. Shelley: Song of Proserpine, while gathering flowers on the plain 
of Enna. fl Ovid, MeiAin. 10; x-77. 



186 



C1.4SS/C MYTHS W HNGLiSH UTERATVkE, 



Stygian realm. He passed through crowds of ghosts, and pre- 
sented himseli before the throne of Pluto and Proserpine. Accgm - 
p anving his words with the lyre , he sang his petition for his w ife. 
Without her he would not return. In such tender strains he sang 
that the very ghosts shed tears. Tantalus, In spite of his thirst, 
stopped for a moment his efforts for water, Ixion's wheel stood 
still, the vulture ceased to tear the giant's liver, the daughters of 



/"^ 



DanaUs rested from their task of drawing water m a sieve/ and 
Sisyphus sat on his rock to listen.* T hen__ for the first time, it js 
s aid, the cheeks of the Furies were wet ^ith tears . ^Proserpine 
could not resist, .md Pluto himself gave way. E undice was calle d. 
She came from among the new-arrived ghosts, limping with Tier 
wounded foot. Orpheus was permitted tu take her away with 
him on condition that he should not turn round to look at her till 
they should have reached the upper air. Under this condition, 
they proceeded on their way : he leading, she following. Mind- 
ful of his promise, without let or hindrance the bard passed 
through the horrors of hell. All Hades held its bre:ith. 



1 Commenlary. \ 133. 



* Coromentnry, \ 107. 



FROM THE EARTH TO THE UNDEkWOkLD 



187 



. . . On be ttepU 
And Cerberus held agape liis triple jaws; 
On stept the bard. Ixion's wheel stuod still. 
Now, past all peril, free was his return, 
And now was hastening into upper air 
Eurydicc , wh en ludHe n ma ^lness sei^y d 
Th e incauiious lover ; pardonable fault. 
If they below could pardon : on t he ver g e 
Of lig ht he stoo d, and nij pnryH^pe 
(M mdlew of ( ft te , ala^ ! and Mul-subc^aed^ 
L ookt back . 

There, Orpheus! Orpheus 1 there was all 
Thy labour shed, there burst the Dynast's bond, 
1 thrice arose that rumour from tlie lake. 
Ah, what \ " she cried, " what madness 
hath undone 
Me! and, ah. wretched! thee, my Orpheus, 

too! 
Kor lo ! the cruel Kates recall me now; 
Chill slumbers press my swimming eyes. . . . 

Farewell ! 
Night rolls intense around mc as I spread 
My helpless arms . . . thine, thine no more 

... 10 ihcc." 
She spake, and, like a vapour, into air 
Flew, nor beheld him as he claspt the void 
And sought to speak; in vain; the ferry- 
guard 

Now would not row hitn o'er the lake again. 
His wife twice lost, what could be? whither go? 
What chant, what wailing, move the Powers of H ell ? 
C ^cji in the Sty^an bark and lone was sh e. 

Beneath a rock o'er Strymon's flood on high, 
Seven months, seven Iong>continued months, 'tis said, 
He bieath'd his sorrows in a desert cave. 
And soothM the tiger, moved the oak, with song.' 

T he Thracian maidens tried their best to captivate htm , b ut he 
r epulsed tl^eir advances. Finally, excited by t he rites of B acchus, 

' From W. S. lender's Orpheus and Eurvdke in Dry Sticks. 



188 



CLASSIC MYTHS IN ENGUSII UTBkATUKE, 



one of them exclaimed, *' See yonder our despiser ! " and tlirew 
at him her javeUn. The weapon, as soon as it came within the 
sound of his lyre, fell harmless at his feet : so also the stones 
that they threw at him. But the women, raising a scream, drowned 
the voice of the music, antl overwhelmed him with their missiles. 
L ike maniacs the y tore him limb from lim b ; t hgn cast his head and 
lyre into the river Hehriis, down vvhicTi they floaled, murmuri ng 
sad music, to which the shores rcspoi uled. The Muses buried th e 
Ir agmetus of hir"bo<lv at Libethraj where the ni^hlim;ale is said 
to sing over h is grave more sweetly than in any other part of 
Greece . Mis Ivrc was placed by Jupiter among the stars ; but 
the shade of the bard passed a second time to Tartarus, and 
rejoined Eurydicc. 

The tjuueriur melody of the nightin|^a1e's sont^ over the ^rav e 
of Orpheus is alluded to by Southf>y in h j ^ T hl*^^''-^ : — 

"Then on his ear what souniU 
Of harmony arose! 
Far music and the distance-meUowed toiig 
From bowers of merriment; 
The walerfail remote; 
The murnmring of the leafy groves; 
* The single nightingale 

Perched in the rosier by, so richly toned. 
That never from that most melodious bird 
Singing a love-song to his brooding mate, 
Did Thracian shepherd by the grave 
Of Orpheus hear a sweeter melody, 
Though there the spirit of the sepulchre 
All his own power mfuse, to swell 
The incense that he loves." 

Other mortals who visited the Stygian realm and returned were 
Hercules, Theseus, Ulysses, and ^neas.* 

1 See Indw. 




MYTHS OF NEi'TUNE, RULER OF THE WATERS. 189 




CHAPTER XIIL 

:YTHS of NEPTUNE, RULER OF THE WATERS 

§ io8. Neptune was lord both of salt waters and of fresh. 
The myths that turn on his life as lord of the sea illustrate his 
defiant invasions of lands belonging to other gods, or his character 
as earth-shaker and earth-protector. Of his con- 
tests with other gods, that with Minerva for 
Athens has been related. He contested Corinth 
with Helios, Argos with Juno, i^gina with Jove, 
Naxos with Racchus, and Delphi with 
Apollo. That he did not always make 
encroachments in person upon the land 
that he desired to possess or to punish, 
but sent some monster instead, will be 
seen in the myth of Andromeda' and 
in the following story of Hcsionc,* the 
daughter of I^oiucdon of Troy. 

Neptune and Apollo had fallen under 
the displeasure of Jupiter, after the over- 
throw of the giants. They were com- 
pelled, it is said, to resign for a season 
their respective functions, and to serve Laomedon, then about 
to build the city of Troy. They aided the king in erecting the 
walls of the city, but were refused the wages agreed upon. Justly 
offended, Neptune ravaged the land by floods, and sent against 
it 3 sea-monster, to satiate the appetite of which the desperate 
Laomedon was driven to offer his daughter Hesione. But Her- 
cules appeared upon the scene, killed the monster, and rescued 




I 137. 



* Iliad 5 : 649; Apollodonii HI. la, \ 7. 



CLASS/C MYTHS !N ENGUhH UTERATVliE, 




the maiden. Neptune, however, nursed his wrath ; and it wm 
still warm when the Greeks marched against Troy.^ 

§ 109. Of a like impetuous and ungovernable temper were the 
sons of Neptune by mortal mothers. From him were spnmg the 
savage I^aestrygonians, Orion, the Cyclops Polyphemus, the giant 
Antaeus, whom Hercules slew, Procrustes, and many another re- 
• doubtable being whose fortunes are elsewhere recounted.' 

As earth-shaker, the ruler of the deep was known to effect con- 
vulsions of nature that made Pluto leap from his throne lest the 
firmament of the underworld might be falling about his ears. But 
as god of the streams and fountains, Neptune displayed milder 
characteristics. When Amymone, sent by her father Danatis to 
draw water, was pursued by a satyr, Neptune gave ear to her cry 
for help, desjxitched the satyr, made love to the maiden, and baring 
the earth with his trident called forth the spring that still bears 
the Danai'd's name. He loved the goddess Ceres also, through 
whose pastures his rivers strayed ; and Arne the shepherdess, 
daughter of King .4*2olus. by whom he became the forefather of 
the Boeotians. His children, Pelias and Nelcus, by the princess 
Tyro, whom he wooed in the form of her lover Enipt-us, became 
keepers of horses — animals especially dear to Neptune. Perhaps 
it was the similarity of horse-timing to wave-lamiiig that attracted 
the god to these quadrupeds ; perhaps it was because they in- 
creased in beauty and speed on the pastures watered by his 
streams. It is said, indeed, that the first and fleetest of horses. 
Arion, was the oflTspring of Neptune and Ceres, or of Neptune 
and a Fury. 

§ 110. Peiopa and Hippodamia/ To Pelops, brother of Niobc, 
Neptune imparted skill in training and driving horses, — and with 
good effect. For it happened that Pelops fell in love with Hip- 
podamia, daughter of CEnomatis, king of Elis and son of Mars, 
— a girl of whom it was reported that none could win her save by 
worsting the father in a chariot race, and that none might fail in 

* \ 167. • Sec Index. 

' Hyglnus, K«b. 94. 233: Pindar, Olymp. i : 114. 



MYTHS OF NEPTUNE, RIUER OF THE WATERS. 

that race and come off alive. Since an oracle, too, had warned 
("EnomaUs to beware of the future husband of his daughter, he 
liad provided himself with horses whose speed was like the 
cyclone. But Felops, obtaining from Neptune wingid steeds, 
entered the race and won it, — whether by the speed of his 
horses or by the aid of Hippodatnia, who, it is j>aicl, bribed her 
fathers charioteer, Myrtilus, to take a bolt out of the chariot 
of CEnomaUs, is uncertain. At any rate, Pelops married Hip- 
podamia. He was so injudicious, however, as to throw Myrtilus 
into the sea; and from that treachery sprang the misfortunes of 
the house of Pelops. For Myrtilus, dying, cursed the murderer 
and his race.' 

* For Ihc house of Pelops see \ 77. and Commentaiy. 




CLASSIC AfYlHS JN ENCUSH LITERATURE, 



W-^ 'i^C^"^ 



CHAPTER XIV. 

MYTHS OF THE LESSER DIVINITIES OF HEAVEN. 

§ III. The tales of the Stars and the Winds, lesser powers of 
the celestial regions, are closely interwoven. That the winds, 
which sweep heaven, should kiss the stars, is easy to understand. 
The stories of Aurora, and of Aura, of Phosphor, and of Halcyone 
form, therefore, a ready sequence. 




§ 112. Cephalus and Procris.^ — Aurora, the goddess of the 
dawn, fell in luvc wUK Ccpluilus, a young huntsman. She stole 
htm away, lavished her love upon him, tried to content him, but 
in vain. He cared for his young wife Procris more than for the 
goddess. Finally Aurora dismissed him in displeasure, saying, 
**Go, ungrateful mortal, keep thy wife; but thou shall one day 
be sorry that thou didst ever see her again." 

Cephalus returned, and was as happy as before in his wife. 
She being a favorite of Diana, had received from her, for the 
chase, a dog and a javelin, which she handed over to her husband. 
Of the dog it is told that when about to catch the swiftest fox in 
the country, he was changed with his victim into stone. For 

1 Ovid. Metam. B : 661-685. 




MYTIfS OF THE LESSER DIVimT/ES OF HEAVEN. 193 

the heavenly powers who had made both, and rejoiced in the 
speed of both, were not willing that either should conquer. The 
javelin was destined to a sad office. It appears that Cephalus. 
when weary of the chase, was wont to stretch himself in a certain 
shady nook to enjoy the breeze. Sometimes he would say aloud, 
"Come, gentle Aura, sweet goddess of the breeze, come and allay 
the heat that burns me/' Some one, foolishly believing that he 
addressed a maiden, told the secret to Procris. Hoping against 
hope, she stole out after him the next morning, and concealed 
■^ herself in the place which the informer had indicated. Cephalus, 
when tired with sport, stretched himself on the green bank, and 
summoned fair Aura, as usual. Suddenly he heard, or thought 
he heard, a sound as of a sob in the bushes. Supposing it to 
proceed from some wild animal, he threw his javelin at the spot. 
A cry told him that the weapon had too surely met its mark. He 
rushed to the place, and raised his wounded Procris from the 
earth. She, at last, opened her feeble eyes, and forced herself 
to utter these words : ** I implore thee, if thou hast ever loved 
me, if 1 have ever deserved kindness at thy hands, ray husband, 
grant me this last request; marry not that odious Breeze I " So 
saying, she expired in her lover's arms. 

An altogether different story is the following ; * — 

Procris, the nymph, hafl wedded Cephalus ; — 

He, till the spring had wanned to slaw-winged dtys 

Heavf with June, untired and amurnuH, 
Named her his love; but now, in unknown ways. 

His heart wa^ gi^^nc; and evermore his gafe 
Turned frutn her own, and even farther ranged 

His wooclland war; while she, in dull ania2e, 
Beholding with the hours her husband changed, 
Sighed for hit lost caress, by some hard god estranged. 

So, on a day, she rose and found him not. 

Alone, with wet, sad eye, she watched the shade 
Brighten below a soft^rayed sun that shot 

Arrows of light through all the dccp-leavcd glade; 

' Austin Uubsun, The Death of Procris. 



CLASSIC MYTUS /A' ENGLISH LITEHATVRE, 



I 



Then, wilh weak hands, she knoUed up the braid 
Of her brown hair, and o'er her shoulders cast 

Her crimson weed; with faltering fingers made 
Her golden girdle's clasp to join, and post 
Down to the trackless wood, fuU pale and overcast. 

And all day lung her slight spear devious ticw, 
Anii harmless swcrvcil her arrows from their aim. 

For ever, as the ivory bow she drew, 

before her ran the still unwuundcd game. 

Then, at lost, a hunter's cry there came, 

And, lo! a hart that panted with the chase. 

Thereat her cheek was lightened as with flame, 
And swift she gat hei lo a leafy place, 
Thinking, " I yet may chance unseen to ice hts fiue,** 

Leaping he wlmU, (his hunter Ccphalus, 

Hut in his hand his cornel bow he bare, 
Supple be wa!i, round limbed and vigorous. 

Meet as his dogs, a lean Laconian pair. 
He, when he spied the brown of Procris' hair 

Move in the covert, deeming that apart 
Some fawn lay hidden, loosed an arrow there; 

Nor cared to turn and seek the speeded dart, 

Bounding above the fern, fast following up the hart 

But Hrocris lay among the white wind-flowers, 

Shot in the throat. From out the little wound 
The slow blood drained, as drops hi autumn showers 

Drip from the leaves upon the sudden ground. 
None saw her die but Lclaps, the swift hound, 

That watched her dumbly with a wistful fear. 
Till, at the dawn, the horn&d wood-men found 

And bore her gently on a sylvan bier. 

To lie hcsidc the sea, — with many an uncouth tear. 

§ 113. The son of Aurora and Cephalus was Phosphor, the 
Star of Morning. His son Ceyx, king of Trachis in Thessaly, had 
married Halcyone, daughter of ..^oUis.' Their reign was happy 
until the brother of Ceyx met his death. The direful prodigies 

1 Ovid. Mclam. 11 : 583-748. 




MYTNS OF THE LESSER 0IV!l^iT!ES OF HEAVEN. 195 



that followed this event made Ceyx feel that the gods were hos- 
tile to him. He thought best therefore to make a voyage to Clares 
in Ionia, to consult the oracle of ApoHo. In spite of his wife's 
entreaties [io\ as tlaughtcr of the god of winds, she knew how 
dreadful a thing a storm at sea was), Ceyx set sail. He was ship- 
wrecked and drowned. His last prayer was that the waves might 
bear his body to the sight of Halcyone, and that it iniyht receive 
burial at her hands. 

In the meanwhile Halcyone counted the days till her husband's 
promised return. To all the gods she offered frequent incense, but 
more than all to Juno. The goddess, at last, could not bear to be fur- 
ther pleaded with for one already dead. Calling Iris, she enjoined 
her to approach the drowsy dwelling of Sommis, and hit! him send 
a vision to Halcyone, in the form of Ceyx, to reveal the sad event. 

The Cave of Sleep. — Iris puLs on her robe of many colors, and 
tinging the sky with her bow, seeks the cave near the Cimmerian 
country, which is the abode of the dull 
god, Somnus. Here Phuebus dare not 
rome. Clouds and shadows are exhaleci 
from the ground, and the liglit glimmers 
faintly. The cock never there calls aloud 
to Aurora, nor watch-dog nor goose dis- 
turbs the silence. No wilil beast, nor 
cattle, nor branch moved with the wind, 
nor sound of human conversation breaks 
the stillness. Kroni the bottom ^-iX the 
rock the river I>ethe flows, and by its 
murmur invites to sleep. Poppies grow 
before the door of the cave, from whose 
juices Night distils slumbers, which she 
scatters over the darkened earth. There is no gate to creak on 
its hinges, nor any watchman. In the midst, on a couch of black 
ebony, adorned with black phime.s and black curtains, the god 
reclines, his Umbs relaxed in sleep. Around him lie dreams, 
resembling all various forms, as many as the harvest bears stalks, 
or the forest leaves, or the seashore sandgrains. 















IIP 






I 


^ 'jIII 


'- 


V^l 


-=4&---Jt-H 



CLASS/C MYTHS IN ENGUSH UTERATVRB. 

Brushing away the dreams that hovered around her, Iris lit up 
the cave, and delivered her message to the god, who, scarce 
opening his eyes, had great difficulty in shaking himself free from 
himself. 

'I'hen Iris hasted away from the drowsiness creeping over her, 
and returned by her bow as she had come. But Somnus called 
one of his sons — Morpheus — the most expert in counterfeiting 
forms of men, to perform the command of Iris ; then laid his 
head on his pillow, and yielded himself again to grateful repose. 

The Halcyon Birds. — Morpheu flew, on silent wings, to the 
Hiemonian city, where he assumed the form of Ceyx. Pale like 
a dead man, naked and dripping, he stood before the couch of 
the wretched wife, and told her that the winds of the .{igean had 
sunk his ship ; that he was dead. 

Weeping ana groaning, Halcyone sprang from sleep, and, with 
the dawn, hastening to the seashore, descried an indistinct object 
washed to and fro by the waves. As it floated nearer, she recog- 
nized the body of her husband. In despair, leaping from the 
mole, she was changL'd instantly to a bird, and poured forth a 
song of grief as she flew. By the mercy of the gods Ceyx was 
likewise transformed. For seven days before and seven days after 
the winter solstice, Jove forbids the winds lu blow. Then Halcyon 
broods over her nest ; (hen the way is safe to seafarers, .^olus 
confines the winds that his gr.^ndchildren may have peace. 

§ 114. Aurora and Tithonus.' — Aurora strems frequently to have 
been inspired with the love of mortals. Her greatest favorite, and 
almost her latest, was Tithonus, son of Laomedon, king of Troy. 
She stole him away, and prevailed on Jupiter to grant him immor- 
tality i but forgetting to have youth joined in the gift, after some 
time she began to discern, to her great mortification, that he was 
growing old. When his hair was white she left his society ; 
but he still had the range of her palace, lived on ambrosial food, 
and was clad in celesii.il raiment. In time he lost the power of 
using his limbs ; and then she shut him up in his chamber, whence 

1 Homeric Hymn to Vrnus ; Horace, Odes, i : » ; a : 16 ; Apollod. 1 11 ■ ta, f 4. 





Afyr//S OF THE LESSER DiViNITIES OF HEAVEN, 197 

his feeble voice might at times be heard. Finally she turned him 
into a grasshopper. The following is, according to the finest of 
poetic conceptions, ihc lament of the white-haired shadow : ' 

"The woods decay, the woods decay and fall 
The vapours weep their burthen to the ground, 
Man cunics and tills the ticld and lies beneath. 
And after many a summer dies the swan. 
Me only cruel immortality 
Consumes: I wither slowly in thine arms, 
Here at the tjuiet limit of the world, 
A whitC'haircil shadow roaming like a dream 
The ever silent spaces of the East, 
Fu'folded mists, and gleaming halls of morn. 

" Alas ! for this gray shadow, once a man — 
So glorious in his beauty and thy choice, 
Who macle&t him thy chosen, that he secm'd 
To his great heart none other than a God! 
I ask'd thtfc, 'Give me immortality.' 
Then didst thuu grant mine asking with a smile. 
Like wealthy men who care not how they give; 
But thy strong 1 louts indignant work'd their wills. 
And beat me down and marr'd and wasted me, 
And thu' they could nut end roe, left me maim'd 
To dwell in presence of immortal youth, 
Immurtal age beside immortal youth, 
And all I was, in ashes. Can thy love, 
Thy beauty, make amends, tho' even now, 
Oosc over us, the silver star, thy guide, 
Shines in those tremulous eyes that fill with tears 
To hear mc? Let mc go; take back thy gift: 
Why should a man desire in any way 
To vary from the kindly race of men. 
Or pass beyond the goal of ordinance 
Where all should pause, as is most meet for all? 

**A soft air fans the cloud apart; there comet 
A glimpse of that dark world where 1 was born. 
Once more the old mysterious glimmer steals 



1 Tennyson's Tiihonus. 



198 



CLASSIC MYTHS AV ENOUSH UTERATUKE. 



From thy pure bravvs, and from thy slimildpr* pure. 
And bosom bcftlin^ with a heart rcncwM. 
Thy cheek begins to redden ihro' the gloom. 
Thy sweet eyes bnghten slowly close to miQe, 
Kre yet tbey blind the stan, and the wild team 
Which love thee, yearning for thy yoke, arise, 
And 5hal<e the darkness from their loosen'd manes, 
And beat the twilight into flakes of fire. 

"Lvo! ever thus ihuu growcst beautiful 
In silence, then before thine answer given 
Oepartest, and thy tears are on my check. 

" Why wilt thou ever scare me with thy tears. 
And make me tremble lest a saying Icamt 
In days far-ofT. on that dark earth, be true? 
'The gods themselves cannot recall their gifts.' 

" Ay me ! ay roc I with what another heart 
In days far-oflT, and with what other eyes 
I used to watch — if 1 t>c he that watched — 
The lucid outline forining round thee; saw 
The dim curls kindle into sunny rings; 
Changed with thy mystic change, and felt tny blood 
Glow with the gluw that slowly crimson'd all 
Thy presence and thy portals, while I lay, 
Mouth, forehead, eyelids, growing dewy-warm 
With kisses balmier than half-opening buds 
Of April, and could hear the lips that kiss'd 
Whispering I knew not what of wild and sweet. 
Like that strange song I heard ApoUu sing, 
W^tle Iliun like a mist rose into towers. 




** Yet bold me not forever in thine East t 
How can my nature longer mix with thine? 
(boldly thy rosy shadows bathe me, cold 
Are all thy lights, and cold my wrinkled feet 
Upon thy glimmering thresholds, when the steam 
Floats up from those dim fields about the homes 
Of happy men that have the power to die, 
And grassy barrows of the happier dead. 
Release me, and restore m<r to the ground; 



MYTHS OF THE LESSER DIVINITIES OF HEAVEN. 199 

Thou iieest all things, ihou wilt sec my gravt- ; 
Thou wilt renew thy beauty morn by morn; 
I earth in earth forget these empty courLv 
And thee returning on thy silver wheel*." 

§ 115. Memnon, the son of Aiirora and Tithonus, was king of 
the /Ethiopians. He went with warriors to assist his kindred in 
the Trojan War, and was received by King Priara with honor. 
He fought bravely, slew Antilochus, the brave son of Nestor, and 
held the Creeks at bay, until Achilleis appeare<i. Before that hero 
he fell. 

Then Aurora, seeing her son's fate, directed his brothers, the 
Winds, to convey his body to the banks of the river .'Kseptis, 
in Mysia. In the evening, Aurora, accomijanicd by the Hon6«l 
and the Pleiads, bewept her son. Night spread the heaven with 
clouds; all nature mourned for the olTspring of the Dawn. The 
/Ethiopians raised his tomb on the banks of the stream, in the 
grove of the Nymphs, and Jupiter caused the sparks and cinders 
of his Mineral pile to be turned into birds, which, dividing into 
two flocks, fought over the pile till they fell into the flame. Every 
year at the anniversary of his dealh they celebrated his obseciuies 
in like nianner. Aurora remained inconsolable. The dew-drops 
are her tears.' 

The kinship of Memnon to the Dawn is certified even after 
his death. On the banks of the Nile are two colossal statties, one 
of which is called Memnon 's ; and it was said that when the first 
rays of morning fell upon this statue, a sound like the snapping 
of a harp-string issued therefrom.* 

"So tc the sacred Sun in Memnun's fane 
Spontaneous concords choired the matin strain; 
Touched by his orient beam responsive rings 
The living 1^ and vibrates all its strings; 
Accordant aisles the tender tones prolong, 
And holy echoes swell the adoring song." • 



t Ovid, Metam. 13:633, etc. Homer. Od. 4: 188; 11 : 5^2. Pindar, Pyih. 6;3a 
' Pausaniu, 1, 4a, { 3, '^ Uarwm's Uolanic Garden. 




MYTHS OF THE LESSER DIVINITIES OF EARTH, AND 
THE UNDERWORLD. 

§ ]i6. Pan, and the PerBoaificatioa of Kature. — It was a 
pleasing trait in the old paganism that it loved to trace in every 
operation of nature the agency of deity. The imagination of 
the Greeks peopled the regions of earth and sea with divinities, 
to whose agency it attributed the phenomena that our philosophy 
ascribes to the operation of natural law. So Pfji . the god of 
woods and fields,* whose name seemed to signHy a// , came to be 
consi dered a symbol of the universe and a personiftcatJon o f 
Nature . " Universal Pan /' says Milton in his description of the 

creation : — 

« Universal Pan, M 

Knit with the Gncea and the Hours in dance, |' 
Led on the eternal Spring.*' 



i/ 



Later, Pan came to be regarded as a representative of all the 
Greek gods, and of paganism itself. Indeed, according to an 
early Christian tradition, when the heavenly host announced to 
the shepherds the birth of Christ, a deep groan, heard through the 
isles of Greece, told that great Pan was dead , that the dynasty 
of Oly mpus was dethroned , and the several deities sent wandering 
in cold and darkness. 

"The lonely mountains o'er. 
And the resounding shore, 

A voice of weeping heard and loud lament; 
From haunted spring and dale. 
Edged with poplar pate. 

The parting Genius is with sighing sent; 

* His name is not derived from the Greek /JMs:a//, but from the root /J^to 
fe«d. 1o pnsture (i^ the fluck» and herds). 




LESSEN DlVmiTlBS OF EARTH, ETC, 



201 



With nower-cnvoven tresses torn, 

The nymphs in twilight shade of tangled thickets rooum."' 

Many a poet has lamented the change. For even if the head 
did profit, for a time, by the revolt against the divine prerogative of 
nature, it is more than possible that the heart lost in due propor- 
tion. Indeed, it is only a false Christianity that fails to recognize 
God's presence in the birds of the air and the lilies of the field as 
well as in nian. T rue Christianity is not selfish . 

His sorrow at this loss of imaginative sympathy among the 
moderns, Wordsworth expresses in the sonnet, already cited, 
beginning, "The world is loo much with us."* Schiller, also, by 
his poem, Th^ Gods of Gretie^ h as immortali;;ed hts sorrow fo r 
th e decadence of the ancient mytholog y. It was this poem that 
provoked the well-known reply of Elizabeth Barrett Brown ing, 
contained in "Th e Dead Pa n." Her argument may be gathered 
from the following stanzas : — 

" By your beauty which confeMcs 
Some chief Beauty conquering you* 
By oar grand heroic guesses 
Through your falsehood at the True» 
We will weep not! earth shall roll 
Heir to each god's aureole, 

And Pan is dead. 

••Earth outgrows the mythic fancies 
Sung beside her in her youth; 
And those debonair romances 
Sound but dull beside the truth. 
Phcebus* chariot course is run! 
Look up, poeta» to the sun ! 

Pan, Pan is dead." 



True enough from the philosophical point of view, but hardly 
from the poetic. Phcebus^ chariot course shall not be finished so 
long as there is a sun, or a poet to gaze upon it. And that Pan 

1 Milton. Hymn to Itie Nativity. 





ClASS/C MYTHS fX EKGUSH UTEHATURE. 

is Dot yet dead, but alive even in the practical atmosphere ok 
our western world, the exquisite poem here appended vrould 
indicate : — 

Just where the Trecsury't nuublc front' 

Looks over Wall Street's mingled nations, — 
Where Jews and Cjenlilcs must arc wunt 

To throng for trade and last (juutatioos, — 
Where, hour by hour, the rates uf gold 

Oatrival, tn the cars oi pcf>ple. 
The qaarter -chimes, serenely toll'd 

From Trinity's undaunted steeple. 

Even there I heard a strange wild strain 

St>und high above the mudem clamor. 
Above the cries of greed and gain. 

The curbstone war, the auction's bamDief. 
.\nH swift, on Music's misty waj-s, 

U led, from all this strife for millions. 
To ancient sweet<do-nothing days' 

Among the kirtle-robed Sicilians. 

And as it stillM the multitude, 

And ycl more joyous rose, and shriller, 
I saw the minstrel where he st>HM| 

At case against a Doric pillar : 
One hand a droning organ play'd, 

The other held a Pan*9 pipe (faahion'd 
Like those of old) to lips that made 
The reeds give out that iitrain impasaion'd. 




'^^Twas I*an himself had wandere<l here, 

A-strolling through the sordid city, 
And piping to the civic rar 

The prelude of some pastoral ditty ! 
The demigod had cruw'd the seas, — 

From haunts of shepherd, nymph, and satyff 
And Syracusan times, — to these 

Far shores and twenty centuries later. 



By Edmund Clarence Sfedman. 




lESSBJi DIVJNJTIES OF EARTU, ETC. 



203 



A ragged cap was on his head: 

But — hidden thus — there was no doubting 
That, all with crispy lucks o'crspread. 

His gnarled horns were sumewhere sprouting: 
His club-feet, cased in rusty shoes, 

Were cross'd, as on some frieze you see themi 
And trousers, patch'd of divers hues, 

CoDceal'd bis crooked shanks beneath them. 

He till'd the quivering reeds with sound, 

And o'er his mouth their changes shifted, 
And with bis goat's eyes look'd around 

Where'er the passing current drifted; 
And 8i>on, as on Triuacrian hills 

The nymphs and herdsmen ran to hear him. 
Even now the tradesmen from their tilts. 

With clerks and porters, crowded near him. 

The bulls and bears together drew 

From Jauncey Court and New Street Alley. 
As erst, if pastorals be true, 

Came beasts from every wooded valley; 
The random passers stay'd to list,— 

A boxer *T^n, rough and merry, — 
A Broadway Daphnis. on his tryst 

With NaU at the Brooklyn Ferry. 

A one-eyed Cyclops halted long 

In tatler'd cloak of army pattern. 
And Galatea joined the throng, — 

A blowsy, applc'Vcnding slattern; 
While old Silenus stagger'd out 

From some new>fangled lunch-house handy, 
And bade the piper, with a shout, 

To strike up "Yankee Doodle Uandy!" 



A newsboy and a peanut girl 

Like little Fauns began to caper : 

His hair was all in tangled curl. 

Her tawny legs were bare and taper. 

Anrl sliU the gathering larger grew, 

And gave its pence and crowded nigher. 



2CK 



CLASSIC MYTftS /.V ENGUSH UTERATVk£, 



While ftyc the ifaepherd-minitrel Mew 
His pipc» ind struck the gamnt higher. 

O heart of Natare! beating still 

With throbs her vernal passion taught her, — 
Even here, as on the vine>cU(] htll« 

Or by the Arcthusan water! 
New forms may fold the speech, new lands 

Arise within these ocean portals, 
But Music waves eternal wands, — 

Enchantress of the souls of mortals 1 

So thought I; — but among us trod 

A man in blue with legal baton; 
And scuff'd the vagrant demigod, 

And push'd him from the step I sat on. 
Doubting I mused upon the cry — 

"Great Pan is dead!" — and all the people 
Went on their ways: — and clear and high 

The quarter sounded from the steeple. 

fit;. Of the company of the lesser gods of earth, besi< 
Pan, were the Sileni, the Sylvans, the Fauns, and the Satyrs, 
male ; the Oreads and the Dryads or Hamadryads, femaU 
To these may be added the Naiads, for, although they d^'elt ti 
the streams, their association with the deities of earth wi 
intimate. Of the nymphs, the Oreads and the Naiads wei 
immortal. The love of Pan fur Syrinx has already been men- 
tioned, and his musical contest with Apollo.' Of Silemis we 
have seen something in the adventures of Bacchus. What kind 
of existence the Satyr enjoyed is conveyed in the following 
soliloquy : — 

"The trunk of thw tree,* 

Dusky-leaved» shaggy- rooted. 
Is a piilciw well suited 
To a hybrid like rae, 

Goat-bcBrded, goat-footed; 




^ \h 47. 59. 83. 



• From ihc Satyr, by Robert Buchanan. 




L 



¥ 



CLASS/C MYTHS IN ENGUSH UTERATURE. 

iS. Echo and NatcIssus.* — Echo was a beautiful Oread, 
fond of the woods and hills ; a favorite of Diana, whom she 
attended in the chase. But by her chatter she came under the 
displeasure of Juno, who condetni^d her to the loss of voice 
save for purposes of reply. 

Subsequently having fallen in love with Narcissus, the beautiful 
son of the river-god Cephissus, Echo found it impossible to 
express her regard for him in any way but by mimicking what he 
said ; and what he said, unfortunately, did not always convey her 
sentiments. When, however, he once called across the hills to 
her, " Let us join one anoiher," the maid, answering with all her 
heart, hastened to the spot, ready to throw her arms about his neck. 
He started back, exclaiming, " Hands p ffl I would rath^y 
d ie than thou shouli^st have me ! " "Have mc," said she; but 
in vain. From that time forth she lived in caves and among 
mountain cliffs, and failed away till there was nothing left of her 
but her voice. But through his future fortunes she was constant 
to her cruel lover. 

This Narcissus was the embodiment of sclf-concejt . He 
shunned the rest of the nymphs, as he had shunned Echo. One 
maiden^ however, ultered a prayer tliat he might some time or 
other feel what it was to love and meet no return of affcclion. 
The avenging goddess heard. Narcissus, stooping over a river- 
brink, fell in love with his own image in the water. He talked 
to it, tried to embrace it, languished for it, and pined until he 
died. Indeed, even after death, it is said that when his shade 
passed the Stygian river, it leaned over the boat to catch a look 
of itself in the waters. The nymphs mourned for Narcissus, 
especially the water-nymphs ; and when they smote their breasts, 
Echo smote hers also. They prepared a funeral pile, and would 
have burned the body, but it was nowhere to be found. In its 
place had sprung u]) a flower, purple within and surrounded with 
white leaves, which bears the name and preserves the memory of 
the son of Cephissus. 

1 Ovid, Metarn. 3 : 3J9-5ia 




LESSER DIVIN/TJES OF EARTH, ETC 



207 



n 



§ 1 19. Echo, Pan, Lyde, and the Satyr. — Another interesting 
episode in the life of Echo is given by Moschus : ^ — 

Pan loved bis neighbor Kcho; Echo loved 

A gamesome Satyr; he, by her unmoved. 

Loved only Lyde; thus through heho. Fan. 

Lyde and Satyr, Love his circle ran. 

Thus all, while their true lovers' hearts they grieved, 
J Were scorned in turn, and what they gave received. 
I O all Love*s scorners, karn this le&.Hon true : 
I Be kind to love, that he he kind to you. 

9 1 20. The Naiads guarded streams and fountains of fresh 
water ; kept them like the Naiad of the following verses, sacred 
for Diana, or some other divinity. 

" Dian white-arm'd has given me this cool shrine,* 
Deep in the bo5«im of a wood of pine: 
The silvcr-sparkllnu showers 
That hive me in, the flowers 
That prink my fi>untain's brim, are hers and mine; 
And when the days are mild and fair. 
And grass is springing, buds arc blowing 
Sweet it is, 'mid waters flowing, 
Here to sit and know no care, 

'Mid the waters flowing, flowing, flowing, 
Gsmbing my yellow, yellow hair. 

'The ounce and panther down the inountain*side 
0«ep thro* dark greenness in the eventide; 
And at the fountain's brink 
Casting great shades, they drink, 
Gazing upon mc, tame and sapphire-eyed; 
For, awed by my pale face, whose light 
Gleameth ihro' sedge and lilies yellow 
They, lapping at my fountain mellow, 
Harm not the Iamb that In affright 

Throws in the pool so mellow, mellow, mellow. 
Its shadow small and dusky-white. 

1 lAng*s Translation of Idyl Vt. For Moschus. see Commentajy, \ ti. 
> From llic Naiad, by Robert Buchanan. 



CLASSIC MYTHS /AT ENGLISH LITERATVKE. 

"Oft do the fauna and satyrs, flusht with pUy, 
Come to my coolnois in the but noun-<lay. 
Nay, once indecti, I vow 
By Dian's truthful brow, 
The great god Pan himself did pass this way. 
And, all in festal oak -leaves clad* 

tils limbs among these lilies thruwing, 
Watch'd the silver waters flowing, 
Listcn'd to their muMC gla<l. 

Saw and heard them flawing, flowing, flowing. 
And ah ! his face was worn and sad \ 

"Mild joys like silvery waters fall; 
But it is sweetest, sweetest far of all, 
In the calm summer night. 
When the tree-tops look white. 
To be exhaled in dew at Dian's calU 
Among my ai&ter •clouds to move 
Over the darkness, earth bedimming, 
Milky-robeU thro' heaven swimming. 
Floating round the Ktars above, 

Swimming proudly, bwimniing proudly, swimming. 
And waiting on the Moon 1 love. 

••So tenderly 1 keep this cool, green shrine. 
Deep in the bosom of a wooil of pine ; 
Faithful thro' shade and sun. 
That service due and done 
May haply earn for me a place divine 
Among the white-robed deities 

That thread thro* starry paths, allending 
My sweet I Jdy, calmly wending 
Thro' the silence uf the skies, 

Changing in hues of beauty never ending, 
Drinking the light of Dian's eyes." 



§ 121. The Dryads, or Hamadryads, assumed, at times, the 
forms of peasant girls, shepherdesses, or followers of the htmt. But 
they were believed to perish with certain trees which had been 
their abode, and with which they had come into existence. 
Wantonly to destroy a tree was therefore an impious act, some- 





LESSEfi DIVINiTlES OF EARTIL ETC, 



times severely punbhed, as in the cases of Erysichthon and 

Dryope. 

Erysichthon,' a despiser of the gods, presumed to violate with 
the axe a grove sacred to Ceres. A venerable oak, whereon 
votive tablets had often been hung inscribed with the gratitude of 
mortals to the nymph of the tree, — an oak, ruimd which the 
Dryads hand in hand had often danced, he ordered his servants 
to fell. When he saw them hesitate, he snatched an axe from 
one, and boasting that he cared not whether it were a tree 
beloved of the goddess or not, addressed himself to the task. 
The oak seemed to shudder and utter a groan. When the first 
blow fell upon the trunk, blood flowed from the wound. Warned 
by a bystander to desist, Krysichthon slew him ; warned by a voice 
from the nymph of the tree, he redoubled his blows, and brought 
down the oak. The Dryads invoked punishment upon Krysichthon, 

The goddess CcreSj whom they had supplicated, nodded her 
assent. She despatched an Oread to ice -clad Scythia, where 
Cold abides, and Fear, and Shuddering, and Famine. At Mount 
Caucasus, the Oread stayed the dragons of Ceres that drew 
her chariot; for, iifar otT she beheld Famine, forcspcnt with 
hunger, pulling up with teeth and claws the scanty herbage from 
a stony field. To her the nymiih delivered the commands of 
Ceres; then returned in haste to Thessaly, for she herself began 
to be an hungered. 

The orders of Ceres were executed by F.imine, who, speeding 
through the air, entered the dwelhng of Krysichthon, and as he 
slept, enfolded him with her wings, and breathed herself into him. 
In his dreams, the caitiff craved food ; and when he awoke, his 
hunger raged. The more he ate, the more he craved; till, in 
default of money, he sold his daughter into slavery for edibles. 
Neptune, however, rescued the girl by changing her into a fisher- 
man ; and in that form she assured the slave-owner that she had 
seen no woman or other person, except herself, thereabouts. 
Then, resuming her own appearance, she was again and again 

1 Ovid, Mrtam. 8:738-684. 




210 



CLASSIC MYTffS AV Et^GUSH UTERATUKE. 



sold by her father ; while by Neptune's favor she became on 
each occasion a difierent animal, and so regained her home. 
Finally, increasing demands of hunger compelled the father to 
devour his own limbs ; and in due time he finished himself off, 

§ 122. Dryope, the wife of Andrcemon, purposing, with her 
sister lole, to gather flowers for the altars of the nymphs, plucked 
the purple blossoms of a lotus-plant that grew near the water, and 
offered them to her child. lole, about to do the same thing, per- 
ceived that the stem of the plant was bleeding. Indeed, the 
plant was none other than a nymph, Lotis, who, escaping from a 
base pursuer, had been thus transformed. 

Dryope would have hastened from the spot, but Ihe displeasure 
of the nymph had fallen upon her. While protesting her inno- 
cence, she began to put forth branches and leaves. Praying her 
husband to see that no violence was done to her, to remind 
their child that every flower or bush might be a goddess in dis- 
guise, to bring him often to be nursed under her branches, and to 
teach him to say "My mother lies hid under this bark," — the 
luckless woman assumed the shape of a lotus. 

§ 123. Rhoecus.* — 

Hear now this fairy legend of oM Greece, 
As full of freedom* youth, and beauty still, 
At the immortal frcshne&s of that grace 
Carved for all ages on some Attic frieze.' 

The Hamadryads could appreciate services as well as punish 
injuries. Rhoicus, hap]je]ung to see an oak just ready to fall, 
propped it up. The nymph, who had been on the point of per- 
ishing with the tree, expressed her gratitude to him. and bade 
him ask what reward he would. Rhcecus boldly asked her love, 
and the nymph yielded to his desire. At the same lime charging 
him to be mindful and constant, she promised to expect him an 

» See note (SclioUum) on the Argonautics of Apollomus, B 477. KcU's edition, 

p. 415. '• 3*- 

>J. R. Lowell. Khfficus. The »tudeol should read nut merely lli« ^ra«nls 
given here, but the whole exquisite poem. 




LESSER DIVINITIES OF EARTH, ETC, 211 

hour before sunset, and, meanwhile, to communicate with him 
by means of her messenger, — a bee ; — 

Now^ in chose days uf simplcness and faith, 
Men did not think that happy things were drcanu 
Because they overstepped the narrow bourn 
Of likcUhoo<', but reverently deemed 
Nothing too wondrous or too beautiful 
To be the guerdon of a daring heart. 
So Rhoecus marie no doubt that he was blest, 
And all along unto the city's gate 
Earth seemed to spring beneath him as be walked, 
The clear, broad sky looked bluer than its wonl. 
And he could scarce believe he had nut wings. 
Such sunshine seemed to glitter through his veitts 
Instead of blood* so tight he felt and strange. 

But the day was past its noon. Joining some comrades over 
the dice, Rhoecus forgot all else. A bee buzzed about his ear. 
Impatiently he brushed it aside : — 

Then lliruugh the window flew the wounded bee. 
And Rhoecus, tracking him with angry eyes, 
Saw a sharp mountain-peak uf Thessaly 
Against the red disk of the setting sun, — 
And instantly the blood sank from his heart, . . . 

. . , Quite spent and out of breath he reached the tree, 
And, listening fearfully, he heard once more 
The low voice murmur, " Khtecus!" close at band: 
^^'hcrcat he looked around him, but could see 
Naught but the deepening gluoms beneath the oak. 
Then sighed Jhc voice, "O Rhcccus! nevermore 
Shalt thou behold me or by day or night, 
Me, who would fain have blessed thee with a love 
More ripe and bounteous than ever yet 
Filled up with nectar any mortal heart: 
But thou didst scorn my humble messenger 
And sent'st him back to me with bruised wiugs. 
We spirits only show to gentle eyes, 
We ever ask an undivided love. 
And he who scorns the least of Nature's works 




CLASSrC MYTHS AV F.JVGUSI/ LITERATURE. 

Is thencefortli exiled nnJ shut out from all- 
FarcwcU! for thou canst never see me more." 



Then Rhcecus beat his breut, and groaned aloud. 
And cried, " Be pitiful ! forgive me yet 
This oncef and I shall never need it more ! ** 
" Alas ! *' the voice returncdi " 'tis thuu art blind* 
Not I unmerciful; I can forgive. 
But have no akill to heal thy spirit's eyes; 
Only the soul hath power o'er itself." 
With that sgain there murmured. "Nevermore I" 
And Rhuxus after heard no other sound. 
Except the rattling of the aak's crisp leaves. 
Like the lung surf upun a distant shore, 
Raking the sea-worn pebbles up and down. 
The night had gathered round him: o'er the plain 
The city sparkled with its thousand lights, 
And sounds of revel fell upon his car 
Harshly and like a curse; above, the sky. 
With all its bright sublimity of stars, 
Deepened, and on his forehead smote the breexe: 
Beauty was all around him and delight. 
But from that eve he was alone on earth. 

According to the older tradition, the nynnpli deprived Rhcecus 
of his physical sight ; but the superior insight 
of Lowell's interpretation is evident. 

§ 134. Pomona and Vertumnus.^ — Pomona 
was a Haraadryati, guardian especially of the 
apple- orchards, but presiding also over other 
fniits. "Bear me, Pomona," sings one of our 
poets ; — 

" Bear me, Pomona, to thy citron groves, 
To where the lemon and the piercing Hmc, 
With the deep orange, glowing through the green, 
Their lighter glories blend. Ijiy me reclined 
Beneath the spreading tamarind that shakes. 
Fanned by the breeze, its fever-cooling fruit."* 




* Ovid. Metam. I4; 623-771 



* Thomson's Seasons, 




LESSER DIViNlTfES OF EARTH, ETC. 



2U 



This nymph had scorned the offers of love made her by Pan, 
Sylvanus, and innumerable Fauns and Satyrs. Vertumnus, too, 
she had time and again refused. But he, the deity of gardens 
and of the changing seasons, unwearied, wooed her in as many 
guises as his seasons themselves could assume. Now as a reaper, 
now as haymaker, now as ploughman, now as vine-dresser, now as 
apple-picker, now as fisherman, now as soldier, — all to no avail. 
Finally, as an old woman, he came to her, admired her fruit, 
admired especially the luxuriance of her grapes, descanted on the 
dependence of the luxuriant vine, close by, upon the elm to which 
it was clinging ; advised Pomona, likewise, to choose some youth 
— say, for instance, the young Vertumnus — 
about whom to twine her arms. Then he told 
how the worthy Iphis, spurned by .^naxarete, 
had hanged himself to her gate-post; and how 
the gods had turned the hard-hearted virgin 
to stone even as she gazed on her lover's funeral. 
"Consider these things, dearest child," said the 
seeming old woman, " lay aside thy scorn and 
thy delays, and accept a lover. So may neither 
the vernal frosts blight thy young fruits, nor fu- 
rious winds scatter thy blossoms 1 " 

When Vertumnus had thus spoken, he dropped 
his disguise, and stood before Pomona in his 
proper person, — a comely youth. Such wooing, of course, could 
not but win its just reward. 

§ 125. The Cranes of Ibycus.' — The Furies, called also DirK 
(the terrible ones), Erinyes (the persecutors, or the angered ones), 
and finally, by way of euphemism, Eumenides (the well-meaning), 
visited earth to punish filial disobedience, irreverence to old age, 
perjury, murder, treachery to guests, even unkindness toward beg- 
gars. They avenged the ghosts of such as, dying violent deaths, 
possessed on earth no representatives either by law or by kindred 
to avenge them. Therefore, as we shall see, they persecuted 

1 Cf. Ctccro, TuscuUn Disputations 4 : 53. 71 ; and Slatius. Silvae 5 : 3, 153. 





214 



CLASSIC MYTHS IN ENGLISH LITERATURE, 



Orestes, who had slain his mother. Therefore, like the accusing 
voice of conscience, they marshalled to punishment the murderers 
of Ibycus. 

This poet, beloved of Apollo, was, while journeying to the 
musical contest of the Isthmus at Corinth, attacked by two rob- 
ben> in the Corinthian grove of Neptune. Overcome by them, he 
commended his cause, as he fell, to a flock of cranes that hap- 
pened to be screaming hoarsely overhead. But when his body 
was found, all Greece, then gathered at the festival, demanded 
vengeance on the murderer. 

Soon afterward, the vast assemblage in the amphitheatre sat 
listening to a play in which the Chorus personated the Furies. 
The Choristers, clad in black, bore in their fleshless hands torches 
blazing with a pitchy flame. .Advancing with measured step, they 
formed ranks in the orchestra, I'beir cheeks were bloodless, and 
in place of hair writhing serpents curled around their brows. 
Forming a circle, these awful beings sang their hymn. High it 
swelled, overpowering the sound of the instruments : — 

" Happy the man whose heart is pure from guilt and crime ! 
Him we avengers touch not ; he treads the path of life secure 
from us. But woe ! woe ! to him who has done the deed of 
secret murder. We, the fearful brood of Night, fasten our- 
selves upon him, soul and flesh. Thinks he by flight to escape 
us? Fly we still faster in pursuit, ivvinc our snakes around his feel 
and bring him to the ground. Unwearied we pursue ; no pity 
checks our course; still on, still on to the end of life, we give no 
peace, no rest," 

Stillness like the stillness of death sat over the assembly. Sud- 
denly a cry burst from one of the uppermost benches, — " Lo, 
comrade, the cranes of Ibycus ! " A dark object sailed across 
the sky. "The murderer has informed against himself," shouted 
the assemblage. The inference was correct. The criminals, 
straightway seized, confessed the crime and suffered the penalty. 




MYTHS OF LESSER DIVINITIES OF THE WATERS. 215 



^ ACHAl'TER 




XVI. 



%cny^ 



^^ 



H^ 



MYTHS OF LESSER DIVINITIES OF THE WATERS. 



I 
I 



These gods may be roughly classed as dwellers in the sea, and 
dwellers in the streams. 

§ 126. Galatea. — Of the sea- divinities, daughters of Nereus 
and Doris, none was fairer than Galatea, sister of Amphilrite and 
Thetis. She loved Acis, the son of Faunus by a Naiad, and was 
loved in return ; but her happiness was disturbed and finally 
ruined by the persistent and jealous attentions of the Cyclops 
Polyphemus. 

Polyphemus in Love, — For the first time in his life the 
Cyclops began to care for his appearance ; he harrowed his 
coarse locks with a curry-comb, mowed his beard with a sickle, 
and, looking into the sea when it was calm, soliloquized, " Beautiful 
seems ray beard, beautiful my one eye, — as I count beauty, — 
and the sea reflects the gleam, of my teeth whiter than the 
Parian stone." ' 

... He loved, not with apples, nor roses, nor locks of hair, but with fatal 
frenzy; and all things cl»e he held but trifles by the way. Many a time from 
the green pastures would his ewes stray back, self-shepherded, to the fold. 
But he was singing uf Galatea; and pining in his place, he sat by the sea- 
weed of the beach from the dawn of day with the direst hurt beneath his 
breast of mighty Cypris's sending. — the wound of her arrow in his heart ! 

Yet this remedy he found, and silting on the crest of the tall cliff, and 
looking to the deep, 'twas thus he would sing: — 

"Oh, milk-white Galatea, why cast off him that loves thee? More white 
than is pressed milk to look upon, more delicate than the lamb art thou, than 
the young calf wantoner. more sleek than the unripened grape! Here dost 
thon resort, even so, when sweet sleep possesses me, and home straightway 
dost thou depart when sweet sleep lets mc gn, fleeing me like an ewe that 

I Theocritus, Idyl VI. See Andrew Lang's translation. 



216 



CLASSIC MYTHS IN ENGUSH UTERATURE, 



has seen the gray Mrulf. I fell In love with thee, maiden, I, on the day when 
6nt thott earnest, with my mother, and didst wish to pluck the hyacinths froni 
the bill, and I was thy guide on the way. But lo leave loving thee, uhen 
once 1 had seen thee, neither afterward, nor now at oil, have I the strength, 
even from that hour. But to thcc all this is as nothing, by Zeus, nay, nothing 
at all: 

" I know, thou gracious maiden, why it i« that thou dost shun me. It is 
all for the shaggy brow that spans my forehead, from this to the other ear, 
one long, unbroken eyebrow. And but one eye is on my forehead, and 
broad is the iwtse that overhangs my lip. Ycl I (even such as thou seest me) 

feed a thousand cattle, and from these I draw 
and drink the best milk in the world. And 
cheese I never lack, in summer time or au- 
tumn, nay, nor in the dead of winter, but my 
baskets are always overladen. 

*' Also I am skilled in piping, as none other 
of the Cyclopes here, and of thee, my love, my 
sweet apple, and of myself, too, 1 sing, many 
a time, deep in the night. And for thee I 
tend eleven fawns, all crescent browed, and 
four young whelps of the bear. Nay, come 
thou tt) me, and thou shalt lack nothing that 
now thou hast. . . . 

" But if thou dost refuse because my body 
seems shaggy and rough, well, I have fag- 
gots of oak-wood, and beneath the ashes is 
tire unwearied, and I would endure to let thee 
burn my ver>' soul, and this my one eye, the 
deare<^t Ihinj; that i& mine. 
" Wi me, that my mother bore me not a tinny thing, so would I have gone 
down to thee, and kissed thy hand, if thy lips thou would not suffer me to 
kissl And I would have brought thee either white lilies, or the soft poppy 
with its scarlet petals. Nay, these are smnmer's flowers, and those are 
flowers of winter, so I could not have brought thee them all at one time. 

"Now, verily, maiden, now and here will I learn to swim, if perchance 
some stranger come hither, sailing with his ship, that I may see why it is so 
dear to thee to have thy dwelling in the deep. Come forth, Galatea, and 
forget as thou comcst, even as I that sit here have forgotten, the homeward 
way! . 4 . 

"Oh, Cyclops, Cyclops, whither are thy wits wandering? Ah, that thou 
wouldst go, and weave thy wicker-work, and gather broken boughs to carry 
to Ihv lambs: in faith, if thou didst this, far wiser wouldst thou be I 




MYTffS OF t£SS£/t OiVlNITiES OF THE WATERS. 217 



** Milk the cue that thou hut; uhy pursue ihc thing that shuiis thee? 
Tliou wilt fiudi perchance, another, and a fairer, Galatea. Many be the girlt 
that bid me stay with them, and suftly they all laugh, If perchance I answer 
thera. On land it is plain that I, too, seem to be somcbouy I" ' 

Having, one day, in sucli HUe, sung, Pol^'phemus wandered, 
beside himself for passion, into the woods. On a sudden he 
came in sight of Galatea and Acis, in the hollow of a rock, 
where they had hearkened to the strains of the Cyclops. The 
monster, infuriate, crying that this should be the last of their 
love-meetings, overwhelmed his rival with a tremendous rock. 
Purple blood spirted from under the stone, by degrees grew paler, 
and finally became the stream that still bears the name of the 
unfortunate youth. But GaUtea remained inconsolable.* 

§ 127. Glaucus and Scylla." — Another deity of the sea was 
Glaucus, the son of that Sisy- 
phus who was punished in 
Hades for his treachery to 
the gods. Glaucus had been 
a comely young fisherman ; 
but having noticed that a 
certain herb revived fishes 
after they were brought to 
land, he ate of it, and suf- 
fered metamorphosis into a 
something new and strange, 
half man, half fish, and after 
the fashion of a sea-god. Of 
his experience during this 
"sea-change," the following 
is aa account : — 



t^ 



^^T^m 



£ 



I plunged Tor life or death. To interknit 
One's senses with 10 dense a breathing stufl 

1 Lang, Theocritus. Idyl XI. 

• Ovid, Kfciam. 13 : 750-667. 

* Ovid. Meiam. n: 808; 14:74; Tibullus 3:4-69. 




CLASSIC MYTHS IN ENGUSH UTERATURE, 

Might teem a wovk of pain; M not enoqgfa 

Can I admiie how ci7stal-sa»0lli it felt. 

And boojraot roand my limbs. At first I dwrell 

Wbok days ami Java in abccr ai^»iikmeQt; 

Focgetfol. ntlerly of icU-intent, 

Moving but with the mighty ebb and dow. 

Then like a new-fledged bird Ibst tint doth ibow 

His spreadcd feathen to the morrow chiU« 

1 tried in fear the piniuns o( my will. 

Twas freedom! and at once 1 \'isitcd 

The ceaseles wondcn of tbb ocean-bed.*" 



He became guardian of fishes and divcR, and of those who go 
don'n lo the sea in ships. Later, being infatuated of the fiir virgin 
Scylla (daughter of the sea-god Phorcys and granddaughter of 

Ponlus), he paid his court 
to her. But the maiden 
rejected him. Whereupon, 
in des[}eration, Glaucus 
sought the aid of Circe, 
an enchantress. She, be- 
cause she coveted for 
herself the handsome sea- 
green god, transformed 
her rival into a monster 
hideously fashioned of ser- 
pents and barking dogs.' 
In this shape Scylla, there- 
after, infested the shore of 
Sicily, and worked evil to 
mariners,' till finally she 
was pfctrified as a reef, none the less perilous to all seafarers. 
A modem version of the fate of Obuctis and St.ylla is given by 
Keats in the Endymion. Glaucus consents to Circe's blandish- 

* From Kenls's Endymion. 

' \\ 5*-5-*. Text, and Commentary. 

■See \\ 171, 174. Adventures of Ulyises and ^neas. 






AfYTNS OF f.ESSER mVlNITiES OF THE WATERS. 219 

ments for a season. But becoming disgusted with her treachery 
and cruelly, he endeavors to escape from her. The attempt 
proving unsuccessful, he is brought back, and sentenced lo pass 
a thousand years in decrepitude and pain. Consequently, return- 
ing to the sea, he there discovers the body of Scylla, whom the god- 
dess has not transformed, but drowned; and learns that if he 
passes his thousand years in collecting the lx>dies of drowned 
lovers, a youth beloved of the gods will, in time, appear and help 
him. This prophecy is fulfilled by Kndymion, who aids in restor- 
ing Glaucus to youth, and Scylla and the drowned lovers to bfr. 

§ 128. Nisus and Scylla.^ — The daughter of Phorcys is fre- 
quently confounded with another Scylla, daughter of King Nisus 
of Megara. Scylla of Megara betrayed her father lo his enemy, 
Minos 11. of Crete, with whom, although the kings were at war, 
she had fallen violently in love. It seems that Nisus had on his 
head a purple lock of hair, upon which depende^l his fortune and 
his life. This lock his daughter chpped, and conveyed to Minos. 
Hut recoiling from the treacherous gift, that king, al^er he had 
conquered Megara, bound Scylla lo the nidder of his ship, and so 
dragged her through the waves toward Crete. The girl was ulti- 
mately transformed into the monster of the barking dogs, or, 
according to another anthorily, into a bird continually the prey 
of the sea-eagle, whose form her father Nisus had assumed. 

f 129. Leucothea.' — Another sea-change was that of Ino, the 
daughter of Cadmus and wife of Athamas, who, flying from her 
frantic husband, sprang, with her child Melicertes in her arms, 
from a cliff into the sea. The gods, out of compassion, made her 
a goddess of the sea, under the name of Leucothea, and her son a 
god under that of Paliemon. Both were held powerful to save 
from shipwreck, and were invoked by sailors. PaUemon was usu- 
ally represented as riding on a dolphin. In his honor the Isth- 
mian games were celebrated. By the Romans he was called 
Portumnus, and had jurisdiction of ports and shores. 

> ApoUod. 3 : 15, M« * 0"^> Metam. 4 : 432-S4aL 



CLASSiC MYJ'NS AV ENGUSH UTEHATUitR, 




% 130. Proteus and ArisUeus.* — Though Aristxus, the lover of 
Eurydice, was son of Apollo aiid guardian himself of herds aiid 
flocks, protector of vine and olive, and keeper of bees, slill, he was 
son of Cyrene, a water-nymph, and his most interesting adventure 
brought him into contact with another deity of the sea. 

His bees having perished, Aristaeus resorted for aid to his mother. 
ShCj surrouneied by her maidens in the crystalline abode under 
her river, overheard his complaints, and ordered that he should 
be brought into her presence. The stream at her command 
opened itself, and let him enter, while it stood heaped like a moun- 
tain on either side. Cyrene and her nymphs, having poured out 
libations to Neptune, gave the youth to eat, and listened to his 
complaint : then informed him that an aged prophet named 
l*roteus, who dw;lt in the sea, and pastured the sea-calves ol 
Neptune, could explain the cause of the mortality among the bees, 
and how to remedy it. But that the wizard would have to be 
chained and compelled to answer \ and tlut even when chained, 
he would try to escape by assuming a series of dreadful forms. 
*' Stil), thou hast but to keep him fast bound," conchided Cyrene ; 
"and at last, when he finds his arts of no avail, he will obey thy 
behest." The nymph then sprinkled her son with nectar, where- 
upon an unusual vigor filled his frame, and courage his heart. 

Cyrene led her son to the prophet's cave, which was in the 
island of Pharos, or of Carpathos,' and concealed him. At noon 
issued Proteus from the water, followed by his herd of sea-calves, 
which spread themselves along (he shore. He, loo, stretched 
himself on the floor of the cave, and went to sleep. Aristaeus 
immediately clapped fetters on him, and shouted at the top of his 
voice. Proteus, finding himself captured, resorted to his craft, 
becoming first a fire, then a flood, then a horrible wild beast, in 
rapid succession ; nor did he succumb till all schemes had failed 
to set him free. Then he resumed his own form and, in response 
to the questioning of Aristaeus, said : "Thou reccivest the merited 

1 Cr. Ody&sey 4:410; Ovid, Fasii 1:369; Vergil. G«orgics 4 : 317, 
S Ct } 131, Milton's Carpathian Wizard. 



MYTHS OF LESSER DIVINITIES OF THE WATERS, 221 



reward of ihy deed, by which Eurydicc met her death. To avenge 
her, the nymphs have seat this deslniction on thy bees. Their 
anger thoii miist appease. Four bulls shalt thou select, of perfect 
form and size, and four cows of equal beauty; and four altars 
shalt thou build to the nymphs ; and shalt sacrifice the animals, 
leaving their carcasses in the leafy grove. To Orpheus and 
Eurydice thou shalt pay such f\meral honors as may altay their 
resentment. Returning after nine days, examine the bodies of 
the cattle slain, and see what has befallen." Aristaeus faithfully 
obeyed these directions. Returning to the grove, on the ninth 
day, he found that a swarm of bees had taken possession of 
one of the carcasses, and were pursuing their labors there as in 
a hive.^ 

§ 131. Acheloiis and Hercules.' — A similar contest took place 
between Hercules and the river-god Acheloiis. The cause of 
the strife was Dejanira of Calydon, whom both heroes loved. 
Hercules boasled his divine descent. Acheloiis^ not content with 
advancing his ckim as lord of the mightiest and most ancient 
river of Greece, insinuated suspicions with regard to the value 
of Hercules' pretensions. Then began a mighty struggle. Find- 
ing he was no match for Hercules in the wrestler's art, AcheloQs 
glided away in the form of a serpent, Hercules, remarking that 
it was the labor of his infancy to strangle snakes," clasped the 
neck of Achelotis, and choked him. Then Acheloiis assumed 
the seeming of a bull. Whereupon Hercules, seizing him by the 
horns, dragged his head to the ground, overthrew him, and rent 
one horn away. This trophy the Naiads consecrated, and filled 
with fiowers for the goddess of Plenty, who, adopting it as her 
symbol, named it Cornucopia. 

No writer in modern times has made more graceful poetic use 
of the divinities of the streams than has Millon. The following 
song, chanted by a Spirit in invocation of " the gentle nymph . . . 
that wth moist curb swa)'s the smooth Severn stream," is but one 



' See Commentary, } 13a 
• h «39- 



* Ovid, Mctam. 9 : i-ioo. 




'''I refrain of many caught by ihe pod 
from the far-echoing chorus of cUssi' 



" Sabrina fair. 

Listen where tbou art sitting 
Under the glassy, cool, translucent wave^ 

In twisted braids of lilies knitting 
The loose train of ihy amber-dn.>p(>i 
hair; 
Listen for dear honor's sake* 
Goddess of the silver take. 

Listen and save. 

" Listen and appear to ns 
In name of great Oceanus 
By th* earth-shaking Neptune's nucc. 
And Tcthys' grave, majestic pace. 
By hoary Ncreus' wrinkled look. 
And the Carpathian uitard's hook, 
By scaly Triton's winding shell, 
And old southsflving Glaucus* spcU, 
By L.cucothca*8 lovely hands. 
And her son that rules the strands. 
By Thetis' Unscl-slippercd feet. 
And the songs of Sirens sweet, 
By dead Parthenope^s' dear tomb 
And fair IJgea's ' golden comh. 
Wherewith she sits on diamond rockSt 
Sleeking her soft, alluring locks, 
By all the minphs that nightly dance 
Upon thy streams with wily glance; 
Rise, rise, an<l heave thy rosy head 
From thy coral*paven bed, 
And bridle in thy headlong wave. 
Till tbou our summons answered have. 
Listen and save."* 

^ See Commentary. 

* Milton's Comus, 859-889. 



J 




I 



MYTHS OF THE OLDER HEROES. 

The House of Danaus. 

§ 132. The Older and the Younger Heroes . — We have already 
narrated Ihe adventures of certain demigods and heroes, such as 
Prometheus, Deucalion, Cadmus, Amphion, Orpheus. Others of 
importance were Perseus, Hercules, Minos, CEdipus, Theseus, 
Jason, Meleager, Peleus, Pelops, Cantor and Pollux. These and 
their contemporaries may be called the Older Heroes. They are 
renowned either for individual exploits or for the part played by 
them in one or more of three great expeditions, — the War 
against Laomedon of Troy,* the Voyage for the Golden Fleece,' 
and the Hunt of the Calydonian Boar.' 

The Youn^rer Heroes were of a later generation, which was 
concerned in four important enterprises, — the War of the Seven 
against Thebes,* the Trojan War/ the Wanderings of Ulysses,* and 
the Adventures of /Eneas.' 

The exploits of the Older Heroes may be arranged in respect 
of their probable sequence in time, and of their grouping accord- 
ing to families of heroes. If we obsen'c the principle of gene- 
alogy, one race, that of Inachus of Argos, attracts our notice 
in the heroes descended from Pelasgus,* Belus, and Agenor. 
The family of Helus gives us the famous House of Danalis ; the 
family of Agenor, the Houses of Minos and Labdacus. Another 
race, that of Deucalion, gives us the heroes of the Hellenic 




^ h <74- 

' k\ 30. 133. »ntl Commenury, 59. 




CLASSIC MYIUS JX hSGLiSH LlTERATUkE, 



branch, most notably those descended from .-Eolus. With these 
families most of the Older Heroes are, by blood or by adven- 
ture, to some extent connected. Bearing this fact in mind, and 
at the same time obser\Hng the chronological sequence of adven- 
tures, wc obtain an arrangcmt-nt of myths as ilkistraiing the races, 
families, or houses: (i) of Danaus of Argos, (2) of .-^olus oi 
Thessaly, (3^ of ^tolus, {4^) of Minos of Crete, (5) of Cecrops 
and of Erichthonius of Attica, (6) of Labdacus of Thebes.* 

§ [33. The Genealogy of Danaifs. — As the Hellenes, in the 
north, traced their descent from Deucalion and Pyrrha o< 
I'hcssiily, so the Pelasgic races of the south from the river-god 
Inachus, son of Oceanus. The son of Inachus, Phoroneus, lived 
in the Peloponnesus and founded the town of Argos. This 
Phoroneus conferred upon the Argives the benefits attributed by 
other Greeks to Prometheus. He was succeeded by his son 
Pelasgns, from whom a division of the Greek people derive their 
name. With the love of Jupiter for the sister of Phoroneus, the 
fair lo, we are already acquiiinted. Her son was Epaphns, king 
of Egypt, from whom were des»cended (i) Agenor of Phcenicia, 
father of Europa and Cadmus, and (2) Belus of Egypt, father of 
^gyptus and Uanaiis. To the family of Agenor we shall return in 
the history of Minos,- son of Europa, and of CEdipus,* descendant 

of Cadmus. 

The Danai'ds.* — iEgyptus 
and his fifty sons drove Dan- 
atis and his fifty daughters back 
to Argos, the ancestral home 
of the race. Finally a recon- 
ciliation was arranged by 
means of a fifty-fold marriage 
between the sons of ^gyptus and the Danaids. But in accord- 
ance with a treacherous command of Danaiis, all his daughters, 

1 Fur rffrrcnces (o genealogical tables, s«c Commentary, \ 132. 

« $ 149. » { 158. 

* Apotlod. a. I. f 5. etc. ; Pnaunias ; Ovid, Heroides 14; Horace, Odes3: 11,33. 





I 



MYTHS OF THE OLDER HEROES. 



save Hypcrmnestra, slew their husbands on the wedding nighi. 
For this crime the forty-nine Danakis were condemned to spend 
eternily in Tartarus, trying to fill with water a vessel full of holes. 
From Hypcrmnestra and her husband, Lynceus, was sprung the 
royal house of Argos. Their son was Abas ; their grandson, Acri- 
sius, — of whom the following narrative is told. 

§ 134. The Doom of King Acrisius.^ — The daughter of Acrisius 
was Danae, of surpastiing loveliness. In consequence of an oracle 
which had prophesied that the son of Danae would be the means 
of his grandfather's death, the hapless girl was shut in an under- 
ground chamherj that no man might love or wed her. Hut Jupi- 
ter, distilling himself into a shower of gold, flooded the girl's 
prison, wooed, and won her. Their son was Perseus. King 
Acrisius, in dismay, ordered mother .ind child to be boxed up 
in a chest and set adrift on the sea. The two unfortunates were, 
however, rescued at Seriphus by a fisherman, who conveyed the 
mother and infant to Polydectes, king of the country, by whom 
they were treated at first with kindness, but afterwards with 
cruelty. 

§ 135. Perseus and Medusa.- — When Perseus was grown up. 
Polydectes sent him to attempt the conquest of the Gorgon 
Medusa,* a terrible monster who had laid waste the country. 
She had once been a maiden whose hair was her chief glory ; but 
as she dared to vie in beauty with Minerva, the goddess deprived 
her of her charms, and changed her ringlets into hissing iicrjients. 
She became a monster of so frightful an aspect that no living thing 
could behold her without being turned into stone. All around the 
cavern where she dwelt might be seen the stony figures of men 
and animals that had chanced to catch a glimpse of her and had 
been petrified at the sight. Perseus, favured by Minerva and 
Mercury, set out against the Gorgon, and approached first the 
cave of the three Graeae : — 



1 Simonidcs of Ceos, ahio Apollodoras, Paiuuiios, and H^gtnus (Fables). 
' Ovid, Metam. 4 : 608-739 ; 5 : t-a49. 
' For GorgDns anil Grsfc, see \ 54. 



226 



CLASSIC MYTHS AV ENGUSH UTERATURE. 



There sat the crones that had the single eye. 

Clad in blue sweeping cloak and snow-white gown; 

While o'er their l)acks their straight white hair hung down 

In long thin locks; dreadful their faces were. 

Carved all about with wrinkles of despair; 

And as they sac they crooned a dreary song. 

Complaining that their lives should last so long. 

In that sad place that no one came anear. 

In that wan place dcsett of hope and fear; 

And singing, still they rocked their bodies heni. 

And ever each to each the eye they sent.* 

Snatching the eye, Perseus compelled the Graeae, as the price 
of its restumtion, to tell him how he might obtain the helmet of 
Hades that renders its wearer invisible, and the wingc'd shoes and 
pouch that were necessary. With this outfit, to which Minerva 
added her shield and Mercury his knife, Perseus sped to the hall 
of the Gorgons. In silence sal two of the sisters, — 

But a third woman paced about the hall. 
And ever turned her head from wall to wall 

And moanc<l aloud, and shrieked in 

her despair; 
Because the golden Irenes of her hair 
Were moved by writhing snakes from 

side to side. 
That in their writhing oftentimes would 

glide 
On tu her breast, or Khuddenng shoul- 
ders white; 
Or. falling down, the hideous things 
wuul'J light 

Upon htT feet, and crawling thence wiiuld twine 
Their slimy folds about her ankles fine.* 

This was Medusa. Her. while she was praying the gods to 
end her miserVp or, as some say, while she was sleeping, Perseus 
approached, — and guided by her image reflected in the bright 
shield which he bore, cut oflf her head, and so ended her miser- 

1 William Morris, Tlie Doom nf King Acrislus, In The Earthly Paradise. 





ai 



MYTHS OF THE OLDER HEROES. 



Ill 



able existence. Thus are described the horror and the grace of 
her features in death ; — 

It lictb. gazing on the midnight sky» 

Upon the cloudy mountain-peak supine; 
Below, far lands are seen tremblingly; 

Its horror and its beauty arc divine. 
Upon its lips and eyelids seems to lie 

Loveliness like a shadow, from which thine. 
Fiery and lurid, straggling underneath. 
The agonies of anguish and of death. 

Yet it is less the horror than the grace 
Which turns the gazer's spirit into stone; 

^'hereon the lineaments of that dead face 
Arc graven, till the characters be grown 

Into itself, and thought no more can trace; 
'TIs the melodious hue of beauty thrown 

Athwart the darkness and the glare of pain. 

Which humanize and harmoniEe the strain.' . . . 

% 136. Perseus and Atlas. — From the body of Medusa spraiig 
the wingfetl horse Pegasus, of whose 
rider, Bellerophon, we shall presently 
be informed. 

After the slaughter uf Medusa, 
Perseus, bearing with him the head 
of the (iorgon, tlew far and wide. 
over land and sea. As night came 
on, he reached the western limit of 
the earth, and would gladly havt- 
rested till morning. Here was the 
realm of Atlas, whose hulk surpassed 
that of all other men. He was ri<-h 
in flocks and herds ; but his chief 
pride was his garden of the Hesperi- 
des, whose fruit was of gold, hanging from golden branches, 

> From Shc)ley's lines On iho Medusa of Leonardo Da Vinci in the Florentine 
Gatlery. 





228 CLASSIC MYTHS IX EN'GLISH UTERA TVHE. 

half hid with golden leaves. Perseus said lo him, " I come as a 
guest. If thou holdest in honor illustrious descent, I claim Jupiter 
for my father ; if mighty deeds, I plead the conquest of the Gorgon. 
I seek rest and food." But Atlas, remembering an ancient proph- 
ecy that had warned him against a son of Jove who should one 
day rob him of his golden apples, attempted to thrust the youth 
out. Whereupon Perseus, finding the giant too strong for him, 
held up the Gorgon's head. Atlas, with all his bulk, was changed 
into stone. His beard and hair became forests, his arms and 
shoulders clitTs, his head a sviminit, and his bunes rocks. Each 
part inireased in mass till the giant became the mountain upon 
whose shoulders rests heaven with all its stars. 

§ 137. Perseus and Andromeda. — On his way back to Seriphus, 
the Gorgon-slayer arrived at the country of the i^thiopians, over 
whom Cepheiis was king. His wife was Cassiopea — 

"l-hat started .-Ethiop queen that strove 
To set her beauty's praise above 
The iea*nyinphs, and their puuers upended/' ' 

These nymphs had consequently sent a sea-monster to ravage 
the coast. To appease the deities, Cepheus was directed by the 
oracle to devote his daughter Andromeda to the ravening maw 
of the prodigy. As Perseus looked down from his aerial height, 
he beheld the virgin chained to a rock. Drawing nearer, he pitied, 
then comforted her, and sought the reason of her disgrace. At 
first from modesty she was silent ; but when he repeated his ques- 
tions, for fear she might be thought guilty of some offence which 
she dared not tell, she disclosed her name and that of her country, 
and her mother's pride of beauty. Before she had done speaking, 
a sound was heard upon the water, and the monster appeared. 
The virgin shrieked ; the father and mother, who had now arrived, 
poured forth lamentations and threw their arms about the victim. 
But the hero, himself, undertook to slay the monster, on condi- 
tion that, if the maiden were rescued by his valor, she should 

1 Milloi), II P«nsctosu, 1. 19. 




MYTHS Of THE OLDEH HEROES. 



229 



his reward. The parents consented, 
promised bride ; then — 



Perseus embraced his 



I 



Loosing his arms from her waist he flew upward, awaiting the &eft-beast. 
Onward it came fruin the iK>uthward, as Sulky and black as a galley, 
Lazilr coasting alung, as the fish ticrl leaping before it; 
I^uily breasting the ripple, and walching hv tiandbar and headland, 
Listening for Iniightrr of maidens at blrachin^, or song of the fisher, 
Children at pUy on the pt.-bbU*&, ur cattle that passe<l on the sand-hills. 
Rolling and dripping it tame, where bedded in glistening purple 
Cold on the cold seaweeds lay the long white aides of the maiden. 
Trembling, her face in Iilt hands, and her tresses afloat on the water,' 

The youth darted down upon the hack of the monster, and 
plunged his sword into its shoulder, then eluded its furious attack 
by means of his wings. Wherever he could find a passage for his 
sword, he plunge<l it between the scales of fiank ind side. The 
wings of the hero were finally drenched and unmanageable with 
the blood and water that the brute spouted. Then alighting on a 
rock and holding by a projection, he gave the monster his death- 
blow. 

The joyful parents, with Perseus and Andromeda, repaired to 
the palace, where a banquet was opened for them. But in the 
midst of the festivities, a noise was heard of warlike clamor; and 
Phineus, who had formerly been betrothed to the bride, burst in 
demanding her for his own. In vain, Cepheus remonstrated tliat 
all such engagements had been dissolved by the sentence of death 
passed upon Andromeda, and that if Phineus had actually loved the 
girl, he would have tried to rescue her. Phineus and his adherents, 
persisting in their intent, attacked the wedding party, and would 
have broken it up with most admired disorder, but 

Mid the fabled Libyan bridal stood 

Perseus in stem tranquillity of wrath, 

Half sloo<l, half floated on his ankle*plumes 

Out-swelling, while the bright face on his shield 

Looked into stone the raging fray.^ 

1 From Charles Kingsley's Andromeda, > Milman's Samor. 




230 CLASSIC A/YTifS LV ESCUSH UTERATUXB. 



Leaving Phineus and hb fellows in merited petrifaction, and 
conveying Andromeda to Seriphus. tbc hero, there, turned into 




stone Polydcclcs ami his court, because the tyrant had rendered 
Danae's life intolerable with his attentions. Perseus then restored 



MYTHS OF THE OLDER HEROES. 



231 



to their owners the charmed helmet, the winged shoes, and the 
pouch in which he had conveyed the Gorgon's head. The head 
itself he bestowed upon Minerva, who bore it afterward upon her 
aegis or shield. Of that Gorgon-shield no more poetic interpreta- 
tion can be framed than the following : — 

"What was that snaky- headed Gorgon-shieltl 
That wise Minerva wore, unconquered virgin. 
Wherewith she freezed her foci to congealed stone. 
But rigid looks of chaste austerity, 
And noble grace that dashed brute violence 
With sudden adoration and blank awe I " ^ 

With his mother and his wife Perseus returned to Argos to seek 

his grandfather. But Acrisius, still fearing his doom, had retired 
to Larissa in 'I'hessaly. Thither Perseus followed him, and found 
him presiding over certain funeral games. As luck would have it, 
the hero took part in the quoit-throwing, and hurled a quoit far 
beyond the mark. The disc, falling upon his grandfather's foot, 
brought about the old man's death ; and in that way the prophecy 
was fulfilled. Of Perseus and Andromeda three sons were bom, 
through one of whom, Electryon, they became grandparents of 
the famous Alcmene, sweetheart of Jove, and mother of Hercules. 
§ (3S. Bellerophon and the Chlouera.' — The horse Pegasus, 
which sprang from the Gorgon's blood, found a master in Beller- 
ophon of Corinth. This youth was of the Hellenic branch of 
the Greek nation, being descended from Sisyphus, and through 
him from /Eolus, the son of Hellen." His adventures might 
therefore be recited with (hose of Jason and other descendants 
of j^iolus in the next chapter, but that they follow so closely on 
those of Perseus. His father, Glaucus, king of Corinth, is fre- 
quently identified with Glaucus the fisherman. This Glaucus of 
Corinth was noted for his love of horse-racing, his fashion of feed- 
ing his mares on human flesh, and his destruction by the fury of 



> Milton's Comus. 

* Iliad 6 : X55-902 ; ApoUodorus. 1 . 9. ) 3 : Horace, Odes 4 : 

*Sce Commentary, \\ 95, 138^ 



1. 36. 




MYTHS 0J< THE OLDKK HEROES. 



233 



his horses ; for having upset his chariot, they tore their master to 
pieces. As to his son, Rellerophon, the following is related : — 

In Lycia a monster, breathing fire, made great havoc. The 
fore part of its body was a compound of the lion and the goat; 
the hind part was a dragon's. The king, lobates, sought a hero to 
destroy this Chimaera, as it was called. At that time Bellerophon 
arrived at his court. The gallant youth brought letters from 
Proetus, the son-in-law of lobates, recommending Bellerophon in 
the warmest terms as an unconquerable hero, bul adding a request 
to his father-in-law to put him to death. For Froetus, suspecting 
that his wife Antea looked with too great favor on the young 
warrior, schemed thus lo destroy him. 

lobates accordingly determined to send Bellerophon against the 
Chimaera. Bellerophon accepted the proposal, but before pro- 
ceeding to the combat, cori:iulted the soothsayer Polyidus, who 
counselled him to procure, if possible, the horse Pegasus for the 
conflict. Now this horse had been caught and tamed by Minerva, 
and by her presented to ihe Muses. Polyidus, therefore, directed 
Bellerophon to pass the night in the temple of Minerva. While 
he slept, Minerva brought him a golden bridle. When he awoke, 
she showed him Pegasus drinking at the well of Pirene. At sight 
of the bridle, the wing&d steed came willingly and suffered himself 
to be taken. Bellerophon mounted him, sped through the air, 
found the Chimaera, and gained an easy victory. 

After the conquest of this monster, Hellerophon was subjected 
to further trials and labors by his unfriendly host, but by the 
aid of Pegasus he triumphed over alL At length lobates, seeing 
that the hero was beloved of the gods, gave him his daughter in 
marriage and made him his successor on the throne. It is said 
that Bellerophon, by his pride and presumption, drew upon him- 
self the anger of the Olympians ; that he even atiempted to fly 
to heaven on his wingtd steed ; but the king of gods and men 
sent a gadfly, which, stinging Pegasus, caused him to throw his 
rider, who wandered ever after lame, blind, and lonely through 
the Aleian field, and perished miserably. 




234 



CI.ASS/C MYTHS IN FMCmUSH UTEHATUHE. 



§ 139. Hercules (Heraclea).' — Alcmene, daughter of Electryon 
and granddaughter of Perseus and Andromeda, was beloved of 
Jupiter. Their son, the mighty Hercules, born in Thebes, became 
the national hero of Greece. Juno, always hostile to the oflfspring 
of her husband by mortal mothers, declared war against Hercules 
from his birth. She sent two serpents to destroy him as he lay 
in his cradle, but the precocious infant strangled them with his 
hands. In his youth he passed for the son of his step-father 
Amphitryon, king of Thebes, — a grandson of Perseus and An- 
dromeda. The lad had the best of teachers. Rhadamanthus 
trained him in wisdom and virtue, Linus in music. Unfortunately 
the latter attempted, one day, to chastise Hercules; whereupon 
the pupil killed the master with a lute. After this melancholy 
breach of discipline, the youth was rusticated, — sent off to the 
mountains, where among the herdsmen and the cattle he grew to 
mighty stature, slew the Thespian lion, and performed various deeds 
of valor. To him, while still a youth, appeared, according 10 one 
story, two women at a meeting of the ways, — Pleasure and Duty. 
The gifts ofl'ered by Duty were the " Choice of Hercules." Soon 
afterward he contended with none other than Apollo for the tripod 
of Delphi ; but reconciliation was effected between the combatants 
by the gods of Olympus ; and from that day forth .\polIo and 
Hercules remained true friends, each respecting the prowess of 
the other. Returning to Thebes, the hero aided his half-brother 
Iphiclcs and his reputed father Amphitryon in throwing off the 
yoke of the city of Orchomenus. Then, while in the very pride 
of his manhood, he was driven insane by the implacable Juno 
In his madness he slew his children, and would have slain Am- 
phitryon, also, had not Minerva knocked him over with a stone, 
and plunged him into a deep sleep, from which he awoke in his 
right mind. Next, for expiation of the bloc^hhed, he was rendered 
subject to his cousin Eurystheus and compelled to perform his 
commands. This humiliation, Juno, of course, had decreed. 



1 Authorities are Homer, — 1 Had and Odywcy ; Theocritus 24 : i, elc. ; Apotlo- 
duru!(. a. 4. \ 7, etc. ; Sophocles. Women of Tnichis; Ctinpides, Hercules Furens; 
Ovid, Mtftam. 9: ioa-»7a; Seneca. Hercules Kurens and CEtaeus; Higinus, etc 




MYTHS Of THE OLDER HEROES. 



Eurysthcus enjoined upon the hero a succession of desperate 
undertakings, which are called the twelve " Labors of Hercules." 
The first was the combat with the lion that infested the valley of 
Nemea, — the skin of which Hercules was ordered to bring to 
Mycenae. After using in vain his club and arrows against the 
lion, Hercules strangled the animal with his hands, and returned, 
carrying its carcass on his shoulders ; but Eurystheus, frightened 
at the sight, and at this proof of the prodigious strength of the 
hero, ordered him to deliver the account of his exploits, in future, 
outside the town. 

His second labor was the slaughter of the Hydra, — a water- 
serpent that ravaged the country of Argos, and dwelt in a swamp 
near the well of Amymone. It had nine heads, of which the mid- 
dle one was immortal. Hercules smick off the heads with his 
club; but in the place of each despatched, two new ones ap- 
peared. At last, with the assistance of his faithful nephew lolalis, 
he burned away the heads of the Hydra, and buried the ninth, 
which was immortal, under a rock. 

His third labor was the cajjtiire of a boar that haunted Mount 
Erymanthus, in Arcadia. The adventure was, in itself, successful. 
But on the same journey Hercules made the friendship of the 
centaur Pholus, who receiving him hospitably, poured out for him 
without stint the choicest wine that the centaurs possessed. As a 
consequence, Hercules became involved in a broil with the other 
centaurs of the mountain. Unfortunately, his friend Pholus, draw- 
ing one of the arrows of Hercules from a brother centaur, wounded 
himself therewith, and died of the poison. 

The fourth labor of Hercules was the capture of a wonderful 
stag of golden antlers and brazen hoofs, that ranged the hills of 
Cerynea, between Arcadia and Achaia. 

His fifth labor was the destruction of the Stymphalian birds, 
which with cruel beaks and sharp talons harassed the inhabitants 
of the valley of Stymphalus, devouring many of them. 

His sixth labor was the cleaning of the Augean stables. 
Augeas, king of EUs, had a herd of three thousand oxen, whose 




CL.4SS/C MYTHS JX £.\CUSU UTERATUKK. 

Stalls had not been cleansed for thirty years. Hercules bringing 
the rivers Alpheus and Penetis through them, purified ihcra 
thoroughly in one d.iy. 

His seventh labor was the overthrow of the Cretan bull, — an 
awful but beautiful brute, at once a gift and a curse bestowed 
by Neptune upon Minos of Crete.' This monster Hercules 
brought to Mycenae. 

His eighth labor was the removal of the horses of Diomedes, 
king of Thrace. These horses subsisted on human flesh, were 
svvift and fe.^rful. Diomedes, attempting to retain them, was 
killed by Hercules and given to the horses to devour. They 
were, then, delivered lo Eurjstheus ; but, escaping, they roamed 
the hills of .Arc.idia, till the wild beasts of Apollo tore them to 
pieces. 




His ninth lal>or was of a more delicate character. Admeta, 
the daughter of Knrystheus, desired the girdle of the qneen of the 
Amazons, and Eur)'stheus ordered Hercules to get it. The Ama- 
zons were a nation dominated by warlike women ; and in their 
hands were many cities. It was their custom to bring up only 
the female children, whom they hanlcned by martini discipline : 
the boys were either despatched to the neighboring nations or put 
to death. Hippolyta, the qneen, received Hercules kindly, and 
consented to yield him the girdle ; but Juno, taking the form of 
an .Amazon, persuaded the people that the strangers were carry- 





I 
I 



I 



MYTHS OF THE OLDER HEROES. 

ing off their queen. They instantly armed, and beset the ship. 
Whereupon Hercules, thinking thai Hippolyta had acted treacher- 
ously, slew her, and taking her girdle, made sail homeward. 

The tenth task enjoined upon him was to capture for Eurystheus 
the oxen of Ocryon, a monster with three bodies, who dwelt in the 
island Krythea (the red), — so called because it lay in the west, 
under the rays of the setting sun. This description is thought 
to apply to Spain, of which Geryon was king. After traversing 
various countries, Hercules reached at length the frontiers of 
Libya and Europe, where he raised the two mmmlains of Abyla 
and Calpe as monuments of his progress, — the Pillars of Her- 
cules ; — or, according to another account, rent one mountain into 
two, and left half on each side, forming the Straits of Gibraltar. 
The oxen were guarded by the giant Eurytion and his two-headed 
dog ; but Hercules killed the warders, and 
conveyed the oxen in safety to Eurys- 
theus. 

One of the most difficult labors was the 
eleventh, — the robbery of the golden ap- 
ples of the Hesperides. Hercules did not 
know where to find them ; but after vari- 
ous adventures, arrived at Mount Atlas, in 
Africa. Since Atlas was the father of the 
Hesperides, Hercules thought he might 
through him obtain the apples. The 
hero, accordingly, taking the burden of 
the heavens on his own shoulders,' sent 
Atlas to seek the apples. The giant re- 
turned with them, and proposed to take 
them himself to Eurystheus. ** Even so," 
said Hercules ; ** but, pray, hold this load 
for me a moment, while I procure a pad to ease my shoulders." 
Unsuspectingly the giant resumed the burden of the heavens. 
Hercules took the apples. 

1 Allu and the heavens, \ 136. 








I 



CL.4SS/C MYTHS m ENGIJSH LITERATURE. 

His twelfth exploit was to fetch Cerbenis from the lower 
world. To this end, he descended into Hades, accompanied by 

Mercury and Minerva. 
There he obtained per- 
mission from Pluto to 
carry Cerberus to the 
upper air, provided he 
could do it without the 
use of weapons. In 
spite of the monster's 
struggling, he seized 
him, held him fast, car- 
ried him to Eurystheus, 
and afterward restored 
him to the lower re- 
gions. While in Hades, 
Hercules, also, obtained the liberty of Theseus, his admirer and 
imitator, who had been detained there for an attempt at abducting 
Proserpine.^ 

Two other exploits not recorded among the twelve labors are 
the victories over Antasus and Cacus. Antaeus, the son of Posidon 
and Gaea, was a giant and wrestler, whose strength was invincible 
so long as he remained in contact with his mother Earth. He 

compelled all strangers who came to 
his country to wrestle with him, on 
condition that if conquered, they 
should suffer death. Hercules en- 
countered him, and finding that it 
was of no avail to throw him, — for 
he always rose with renewed strength 
from every fall, — lifted him up from 
the earth, and strangled him in the air. 
Later writers tell of an army of Pygmies which, finding Her- 
cules asleep after his defeat of Antseus, made preparations to 




MYTHS OF THE OLDEK HEROES. 



2JS 



attack him, as if they were about to attack a city. But the hero, 

awakening, laughed at the little warriors, wrapped some of them 
up in his lion's skin, and carried them to Euryslheus. 

Cacus was a giant who inhabited a cave on Mount Aventine, ajid 
plundered the surrounding country. When Hercules was driving 
home the oxen of Cieryon, Cacus stole part of the cattle, while 
the hero slept. That their footprints might not indicate where 
they had been driven, he dragged thcni backward by their tails 
to his cave. Hercules was deceived by the stralagem, and would 
have failed to find his oxen, had it not happened that while he 
was driving the remainder of the her<l [jast the cave where the 
stolen ones were concealed, those within beyuiuing to low, discov- 
ered themselves to him. Hercules promptly despatched the thief. 

Through most of these expeditions Hercules was attended by 
lolalis, his devoted friend, the son of his half-brother Iphicles. 

§ 140. On the later exploits of the hero, we can dwell but 
briefly. Having, in a fit of madness, killed his friend Iphitus, he 
was condemned for the olTence to spend three years as the slave 
of Queen Omphale. He lived eHeminately, wearing at times the 
dress of a woman, and spinning wool with the handmaidens of 
Omphalej while the queen wore his linn's skin. But during this 
period he contrived to engage in about as many adventures as 
would fill the life of an ordinary hero. He threw the bloud- 
thirsty Lityerses' into the river Mseandcr ; he discovered the 
body of Icarus- and buried it ; he joined the company of Argo- 
nauts/ who were on their way to Colchis to secure the golden 
fleece, and he captured the thievish gnomes, called Ccrcopes.* In 
the Argonautic adventure he was attended by a lad, Hylas, whom 
he tenderly loved, and on whose account he deserted the expedition 
in Mysia. 

§ 141. The Loss of Hylas.'^ — ^v_--^- ^ I 

"... Xcvcr was Heracles apart from Hylas, not when midnoon wu high 
in heaven, not when Dawn with her white horses apceda upwardi to the dwell* 

1 Theocritus, IdjI X. Lang's transtalion. 

* \ 150. * \ 145. ^ See CorotiKDtary. 

< Theocritus, Idyl Xtll. Lang's translation. 






ing of Zeu8> not when the twittering nettlings look towards the perch 
their mother flaps her wings above the smuke- browned beam; and aJI this 
that the lad might be fashioned to his mind, and might drive a straight funow, 
and cumc to the true measure of man. . . . 

"And Hylas of the yellow hair, with a vessel of bronze in bis hand, went 
to draw water against supper-time, fur Heracles himself and the steadfast 
Telamon, for these comrades twain supped ever at one tal>le. Soon was h 
ware of a spring, in a hollow land, and the rushes grew thickly ruund it. an 
dark swallow-wort, and green maiden-hair, and blooming parsltry, and 
grass spreading through the marshy land. In the midst of the water the 
nymphs were arranging their dances, the sleepless nymphs, dread goddesses 
of the country people, Eunice, and Malis, and Nycheia, with her April eyes. 
And now the boy was holding n\ii the widc-moathed pitcher to the water, 
Intent on dipping it; but the nymphs all clung to his hand, for love of the 
Argive lad bad fluttered the soft hearts of all uf them. Then down he sank 
into the Mack water, headlong all, as when a star shoots flaming from the sky, 
plamb in the deep it falls; and a mate shouts out to the seamen, ' Up ni 
the gear, my lads, the wind is fair for sailing.* 

"Then the nymphs held the weeping boy on their laps, and with gentle 
words were striving to comfort him. But the son of Amphitryon was troubled 
about the lad, and went forth, carrying his bended bow in Scythian fashion, 
and the club that is ever grasped in his right hand. Thrice he shouted 
* Kylas ! * as loud as his deep throat could call, and thrice again the boy heard 
him, and thrice came hw voice from the water, and, hard by though he was, 
he seemed very far away. And as when a bearded lion, a ravening lion on 
the bills, hears thr bleating of a fawn afar off, and rushes forth from his lair 
to seize it, his readiest meal, even so the mighty Heracles, in longing for the 
lad, sped through the trackless briars, and ranged over much country. 

" Reckless are lovers: great toils did Heracles bear, in hills and thickets 
wandering; and Jason's quest was all postponed to this. , . 

"Thus loveliest Hylas is numbered with the Blessed; but for a runaway 
they girded at Heracles — the heroes — because he roamed from Argo of the 
sixty oarsmen. But on foot he came to Colchis and inhospitable rhasis." 



be 

i 



§ 142. The Expeditioa against Laomedon. — After his servitude! 
under Omphale was etided, Hercules sailed with eighteen ships 

against Troy, For Laomedon, king of lh:it realm, had refused to 
give Hertrules the horses of Xepiunp, which he had promised in 
gratitude for the rescue of his daughter Hesione from the sea- 
monster.' The hero, overcoming Troy, placed a son of Laomedon,] 

>§ 108. 




I 

I 



MYTHS OF THE OLDER HEROES, 



Priam, upon the throne, and gave Hesione to Telamon, who, with 
Peleus, OTcles, and other Greek heroes, had accompanied him. 
Also worthy of mention among the exploits of Hercules were his 
successful expeditions against Pylos and Sparta, his victory over 
the giants, his struggle with Death for the body and life of Alcestis/ 
and his delivery, according to prophecy, of Prometheus, who, until 
that time, had remained in chains upon the Caucasian Mountains." 
§ 143. The De&th of Hercules. — Finally the hero married 
Dejanira, daughter of (Jineus of Calydon, and sister of Mcleager 
of the Calydonian hunt. VVith her he lived happily three years. 
But on one occasion, as they journeyed together, they came to 
a river, across which the centaur Nessus carried travellers for a 
stated fee. Hercules proceeded to ford the river, and gave 
Dejanira to Nessus to be carried across. Nessus, however, at- 
tempted to make off with her ; whereupon Hercules, hearing her 
cries, shot an arrow into his heart. The centaur as he died, bade 
Dejanira take a portion of his blood and keep it, saying that it 
might be used as a charm to preserve the love of her husband. 
Dejanira did so. Before long, jealous of Hercules' fondness for 
lole of CEchalia, a captive maiden, she steeped a sacrificial robe of 
her husband's in the blood of Nessus. .As soon as the garment 
became warm on the body of Hercules, the poison jienetrated bis 
limbs. In his frenzy he seized Lichas, who hnd hrongbl him the 
fatal robe, and hurled him into the sea ; then tried to wrench off 
the garment, but it stuck to his flesh, and tore away whole pieces 
of his body. 

" Alcidcs, frurii ^ Echalia crowned 
With conquesi, felt the cnvenomcil rube, ami ti>re, 
Through pain, up by the roots Thessalian pines, 
And I.ichas from the top of CEta threw 
Into the Euboic Sea."* 

In this state he embarked on board a ship, and was conveyed 
home. Dejanira, on seeing what she had unwittingly done, hanged 
herself. Hercules, prepared to die, ascended Mount CEta, where 

> ^ 8x. a J{ a»-a5. « Mihon. 




242 



CLASSIC MYTHS IN ENGLISH LITERATURE. 



he built a funeral pile of trees, gave his bow and arrows to Philoc- 
ictcs/ and bid himself upon the pile, his head resting on his 
club, and his lion's skin spread over him. With a countenance as 
serene as if he were taking his place at a festal board, he com- 
mitnded Philoctetes to apply the torch. The llames spread apace, 
and soon invested the whole mass.' 

The gods themselves grieved to see the champion of the earth 
so brought to his end. But Jupiter took care that only his mother's 
part in him should perish by the flames. The immortal clement, 
derived from Jupiter himself^ was translated to heaven; and by 
the consent of the gods — even of reluctant Juno — Hercules was 
admitted as a deity to the ranks of the immortals. The white- 
armed queen of heaven was finally reconciled to the offspring of 
Alcmena. She adopted him for her son, and gave him in marriage 
her daughter Hebe. 

*' Deep degraded to a. coward's slave, 
Endless contests bore Alcidcs brave. 
Through the thorny path of sufTering led; 
Slew the Jlydra, crushed the lion's nught. 
Threw himself, to bring his friend to light, 
Living, ill the skill that bears the dead. 
All Ihc torments, every toil of earth, 
JunoV hatreil un hini cuuld impose, 
Well he bore thcnif from his fated birth 
To life's grandly m^iurnful close. 

"Till the god, the earthly part forsaken, 
From the man in flames asunder taken, 
Drank the heavenly ether's purer breath. 
Joyous in the new unwonted liKhtncss, 
Soared he upwards to celestial brightness, 
Earth's dark heavy burden lost in death. 
High Olympus gives harmonious greeting 
To the hall where reigns his sire adored; 

* See } 169. According tu SuphocWs, Philoctetes' fatlicr Ptt-as applied the torch 

* See the spirited poems, DrUneira and Herakles, in the classical, but loo little 
read, £pic of Hades, by Lewlk Morris. 








^^^^^^^H 


■^ 




^1 




^^^^1 


^^^^H AfYTHS OF THE OLDER HEROES. 243 

^^^^^^^m Youth's bright goddeis, with t blush at meetiDg, 
^^^^^^^ Gives the nectar to her lord."* 

■ Here we take leave for a time of the descendants of Inachus. 
1 We shall revert to them in the stories of Minos of Crete (§ 149) 

■ and of the house of Labdacus (§ 158). 

1 1 Schiller's Ideal and Life. Translated by S. G. Bulfinch. brother of Thomas 
H Uulfincb. 


^^^^^K *- r1 41 jflli- ^^^^ 


, ^ \ 


ir^^a^nii 






\ 


f 


^fciM^ 


- 




CLASSIC MYTHS IS ENGLISH LITBRATURE- 



CHAPTER XVIII. 



THE FAMILY OF ^OLUS. 



$ 144. The Deacendants of Deucalion. — Ath.imaii, brother of 
Sisyphus, was descended from -^ilolus, whose father, Hcllen, was 
the son of Deucalion of Thessaly. Athamus had, by his wife 
Nephele, two chiUren, Phryxus and Hello. After a time, growing 
indifferent to his wife^ Atliamas put her away, and took Ino, the 
daughter of Cadmus. The unfortunate sequel of this second 
marriage we have already seen.^ 

Nephele, apprehending d:inger to her children from the influence 
of their step-moiher. took measures to put them out of her reach. 
Mercury gave her a ram with a golden fleece, on which she set 
the two children. Vaulting into the air, the animal took his course 
to the East ; but when he was crossing the strait thai divides 
Europe and Asia, the girl Helle fell from his back into the sea, 
which from her was afterward called the Hellespont — now the 
Dardanelles. The ram safely landed the boy Phryxus in Colchis, 
where he was hospitably received by ^'Eetes, the king of that coun- 
try. Phryxus sacrificed the ram to Jupiter, but the fleece he gave 
lo vt^etes, who placed it in a consecrated grove, under the care of 
a sleepless dragon.* 

§ 145. The Quest of the Golden Fleece.^ — Another realm in 
Thessaly, near lo that i>f .\thainas, was ruled over by his nephew 
..-Eson. ^son, although he had a son Jason, surrendered the 
crown to a half-brother, Pelias/ on condition that he should hold 
it only during the minority of the lad. This young Jason was, 
by the way, a second cousin of Rellerophon and of the Atalanta 



> \ 139. ^ Apotlod. 1. 9. \ I ; Apollon. Rhixl. i 927, 

* Ovid, MeiAtn. 6: 667 ; 7 : 143. The ArgoiuulicA of Apollonius ul Khodes. 
4 S«e ( 109. 



TiJE FAMILY Of jeOlUS, 



245 



who ran against Hippomenes, and a first cousin of Aiimetus, the 
husband of Alcestis.' When, however, Jason, being grown up, 
came to demand the crown, his uncle Pclias with wily intent, 
suggested to him the glorious quest of the golden fleece. Jason, 
pleased with the thought, furlhwiih made preparations for the ex- 
pedition. At that lime the only species of navigation known to the 
Greeks consisted of small boats or canoes hollowed out from trunks 
of trees; when, accordingly, Jason emj>l(jyed Argus to build a 
vessel capable of containing fifty men, it was considered a gigantic 
undertaking. The vessel was naraed Argo, probably after its 
builder. Jason soon found himself at the head of a bold band 
of comrades, many of whom afterward were renowned among the 
heroes and demigods of Greece. 

From every region of idea's shore 
The brave assembled; those illustrious twins 
CftStor anil Pollux; Orpheus, tuneful bard; 
Zetes and Calab, as the wind in speed; 
Strong Hercules and many a chief renowned. 
On deep lolcos' sandy shore they thronged, 
Gleaming in armor, ardent of exploits, — 
And soon, the laurel cord and the huge stone 
Uplifting to the deck, unmoored the bark; 
Whose keel of wondrous length the skilful hand 
Of Argus fashioned for the proud attempt; 
And in Che extentled keel a lofty mast 
Upraised, and sails full swelling; to (he chiefs 
Unwonted objects. Now first, now they learned 
Their bolder steerage over ocean wave. 
Led by the golden stars, as Chiron's art 
Had marked the sphere celestial.^ 

Theseus, Meleager, Peleus, and Nestor were also among these 
Argonauts, or sailors of the Argo. The ship with her crew of 
heroes left the shores of Thossaly, and touching at the island of 
Lemnos, thence crossed to Mysia and thence to Thrace. Here 



1 See genealogical table, ( 97, Commentary 
* Dyer The Fleece. 





246 



CL.-iSSJC MYIMS /JV ENGLISH UTEfiATURE, 



they found the sage Phineus, who instructed the Argonauts bow 
they might pass the Symplegades, or Clashing Islands, at the 
entrance of the Euxine Sea. When they reached these islands, 
they, accordingly, let go a dove, which took her way between the 
rocks, and passed in safety, only losing some feathers of her tail. 
Jason and his men, seizing the favorable moment of the rebound, 
plied their oars wiih vigor, and passed safe through, though the 
islands closed behind them, and actually grazed the stem of the 
vessel. They then rowed along the shore till they arrived at 
the eastern end of the sea, and so landed in the kingdom of 
Colchis. 




Jason made known his message to the Cokhian king, itetes, 
who consented to give up the golden fleece on certain comlitions : 
namely, that Jason should yoke to the plough two fire-breathing 
bulls with brazen feet ; and that he, then, should sow the teeth ol 
the dragon that Cadmus had slain. Jason, although it was well 
known that a crop of armed men would spring up from the teeth, 
destined to turn their weapons against their producer, accepted 
the conditions ; and a time was set for the undertaking. The 
hero, however, wisely spent the interval in woi^ing Medea, the 
daughter of .4ietes ; and with such success that they plighted troth 
before the altar of Hecate. The princess then furnished her hero 
with a charm which should aid him in the contest to come. 

Accordingly, when the momentous day was arrived, Jason, with 
calmness, encounlcred the fire-breathing monsters, and speedily 



THE lAAflLY OF /EOLUS. 



247 



yoked them to the plough. The Colchians stotxi in amazement ; 
the Greeks shamed for joy. Next, the hero proceeded to sow the 
dragon's teeth and plough them in. Up sprang, according to pre- 
diction, the crop of armed men, brandished aloft their weapons, 
and rushed upon Jason, The Greeks trembled for their hero. 
Medea herself grew pale with fear. The hero, himself, for a time, 
with sword and shield, kept his assailants at bay ; but he surely 
would have been overwhelmed by the numbers had he not resorted 
to a charm which Medea had taught him : seizing a stone, he 
threw it in the midst of his foes. Immediately they turned their 
arms against one another, and soon there was not one of the 
dragon's brood alive. 

It remained only to lull to sleep the dragon that guarded the 
fleece. This was done by scattering over him a few drops of a 
preparation, which, again, Medea had supplied. Jason then seized 
the fleece, and with his friends and his sweetheart accompanying, 
hastened to the vessel. It is said that, in order to delay the pur- 
suit of her father /Eetes, Medea tore to pieces her young brother 
Absyrtus, and strewed fragments of him along the line of their 
flight. The ruse succeeded. The Argonauts arrived safe in 
Thessaly. Jason delivered the fleece to Pelias, and dedicated the 
Ar^o to Neptune. 

§ 146. Medea and ^son.' — Medea's career as a sorceress was, 
by no means, completed. At Jason's request, she undertook next 
to restore his aged father ^^ilson to the vigor of youth- To the 
full moon she addressed her incantations, to the stars, to Hecate, 
to Telius, the goddess of the earth. In a chariot borne aloft by 
dragons, she traversed the fields of air to regions where flourished 
potent plants, which only she knew how to select. Nine nights 
she employed in her search, and during that period shunned alt 
intercourse with mortals. 

Next she erected two altars, the one to Hecate, the other to 
Hebe, and sacrificed a black sheep, — pouring libations of milk 
and wine. She implored Pluto and his stolen bride to spare the 

^ Ot^id, Mctaiii. 7: 143-393. 





248 



ClASS/C MYTHS IJV ENGLISH UTERATVRB. 



old man's life. Then she directed that j€son be led forth ; and 
throwing him into a deep sleep, she laid him on a bed of herbs, 
like one dead. No eye profane looked upon her mysteries. With 
streaming hair, thrice she moved round the altars, dipped darning 
twigs in the blood, and laid them thereon to bum. Meanwhile 
the caldron with its contents was preparing. In it she put magic 
herbs, with seeds and flowers of acrid juice, stones from the dis- 
tant East, and sand from the shore of all-surrounding ocean, hoar 
frost — gathered by moonlight, a screech owl's head and wings, 
and the entrails of a wolf. She added fragments of the shells of 
tortoises and the liver of stags — animals tenacious of life — and 
the head and beak of a crow, which outlives nine generations 
of men. These, with many other things ''without a name/* she 
boiled together for her purposed work, stirring them with a dry 
olive branch. The branch when taken out instantly was green, 
and erelong was covered with leaves and a plentiful growth of 
young olives ; and as the liquor boiled and bubbled, and some- 
times bubbled over, the grass wherever the sprinklings fell leaped 
into verdure like that of spring. 

Seeing that all was ready, Mcdca cut the throat of the old man, 
let out his blood, and poured into his mouth and his wound the 
juices of her caldron. As soon as he had completely imbibed 
them, his haJr and beard lost their whiteness, and assumed the 
color of youth ; his paleness and emaciation were gone ; his veins 
were full of blood, his Umbs of vigor and robustness ; and --Eson, 
on awakening, found himself forty years yotmger. 

§ 147. PeliasJ — In another instance, Medea made her arts 
the instrument of revenge. Pelias, the usurping uncle of Jason, 
still kept him out of his heritage. But the daughters of Pelias 
wished Medea to restore their father also to youth. Medea simu- 
lated consent, but prepared her caldron for him in a new and 
singular way. She put in only water and a few simple herbs. In 
the night she persuaded the daughters of Pelias to kill him. 
They, at first, hesitated to strike, but, Medea chiding their irreso- 

A Ovid, MeUm. 7 ; 397-353. 




THE FAMILY Oh j9lOLUS. 

lution, they turned away their faces and, giving random blows, 
smote him with their weapons. Starting from his sleep, the old 
man cried out, "My daughters, would you kill your father?*' 
Whereat their hearts failed them, and the weapons fell from 
their hands. Medea, however, struck the fatal blow. 

They placed him in the caldron, but, as might he expected. 
with no success. Medea herself had taken care to escape before 
they discovered the treachery. She had, however, httle profit of 
the fruits of her crime. Jason, for whom she had sacrificed so 
much, put her away, for he wished to marry Creusa, princess of 
Corinth. Whereupon Medea, enraged at his ingratitude, called 
on the gods for vengeance : then, sending a poisoned robe as a 
gift to the bride, killing her own children, and setting fire to the 
palace, she mounted her serpent-drawn chariot and fled to Athens. 
There she married King .(^geus, the father of Theseus; and 
we shall meet her again when we come to the adventures of 
that hcro.^ 

The incantation of Medea readily suggests that of the witches in 
Macbeth : — 

" Kuund about the caldron go; 
In the poisoncil entrails throw. — 
Toadt that under cold stone 
Days and nights hast thirty.one 
Sweller'd venom sleeping got. 
Boil thou first i' the charmM put 

. . Fillet of a fenny snake 
In the caldron boil and bake; 
Eye of newt and tuc of frog, 
Wool of bat and tongue of dog. 
Adder's fork and blind-worm's sling, 
Lizard's leg, and huwlet'a wiug, — 
For a charm of jrowcrful trouble 
Like a hcIUbroth boil and bubble. . ■ . 
. . . 5>cale of dragon; tooth of wolf; 
Witches' mummy; maiv and gulf 
Of the ravin'd salt -vea shark; 
Root of hemlock digged i* the dark."* 



{15a- 



« Mjcbcth, Act IV, r. ComuU, 





CHAPTER XIX. 



THE FAMILY OF ATOLUS. 



5 148. The Cftlydonian Hunt.' — One of the heroes of the 

Argonautic expedilion had been Meleager, a son of CEneus and 
Althaea, rulers of Calydon in /Etolia. His parents were cousin.s, 
descended from a son of Endymion named ^tolus, who had col- 
onized thai realm. By lies of kinship and marriage lliey were 
allied with many historic figures. Their daughter Dejanira had 
become, as we have already noted, the wife of Hercules;* while 
I>eda, the sister of .Mthiea, was mother of Castor and Pollux,* 
and of Clytcmnestra and Helen, intimately concerned in the 
'I'rojan War. 

When her son Meleager was born, Althjea had beheld the three 
Destinies, who, as they spun their fatal thread, foretold that the life 
of the child should last no longer than a certain brand then burning 
upon the hearth. Althfca seized and quenched the brand, and 
carefully preser\'ed it, while Meleager grew to boyhood, youth, 
and man's estate. It chanced, then, that CEneus, offering sacrifices 
to the gods, omitted to pay due honors to Diana ; wherefore she, 
indignant at the neglect, sent a boar of enormous size to lay waste 
the fields of Calydon. Meleager called on the heroes of Greece 
to join in a hunt for the ravenous monster. Theseus and his 
friend Pirilhods,' Jason,* Peleus/ the father of Achilles, Telamon/ 
the father nf Ajax, Nestor," then a youth, but who in his age bore 
arms with Achilles and Ajax in the Trojan War," — these and many 




1 Ovid, MoUm. 8:360-346. 
s $$ 165. i6d 



"}} M5. 165. 

• J* MS. <67- 
? {} 167, 168. 




more joined in the enterprise. With them came, also, Atalanta, 
the daughter of lasius, — 

Arcadian Atftlanta. snowy-soulcd, 

Fair as the snow and footed as the wind.^ 

A buckle of polished gold confined her vest, an ivory quiver hung 
on her left shoulder, and her left hand bore the bow. Her face 
blended feminine beauty with the graces of martial youth- Meleager 

i, and with chwalric reverence, somewhat thus addressed her : — 



' Fur thy name's sake and awe toward thy chaste bead, 
O holiest Atalanta! no man dares 
Praise thee, though fairer than wliom all men praise, 
And godlike fur tliy grace of hallowed hair 
And holy habit uf thine eyes, and feet 
Thai make the blown foam neither swift nor white. 
Though the wind winnow and whirl it; yet we praise 
Cods, found because of thee adorable 
And for thy sake praiseworthiest from all men: 
Thee therefore we praise also, thee as these. 
Pure, and a light lit at the hands of gods."' 




But there was no time then for love : on to the hunt they pushed. 
To the hunt went, also, Plexippus and Toxeus, brothers of Queen 
Althaea, braggarts, envious of Meleager. Speedily the hunters drew 
near the monster's lair. They stretched strong nets from tree to 
tree ; they uncoupled their dogs ; they sought the footprints of their 
quarry in the grass. From the wood was a descent to marshy 

> From Swinburne's Atalanta in Calydon. 





252 



CLASSIC MYTHS Ihf ENGLISH LITERATVKE. 



ground. Here the boar, as he lay among the reeds, heard the 
shouts of his pursuers, and rushed forOi against them. One and 
another is thrown down and slain. Jason, Nestor, Telamon open 
the attack^ but in vain. 

, . . llien all abode mvc one. 
The Arcadiftn Atalanta: from her side 
Sprang her hounds, laboring at the leash, and slipped. 
And plashed ear-deep with plunging feet; but she 
Saying, " Speed it as I send it for thy sake, 
Goddess," drew bow and loosed; the sudden string 
Rang, and sprang inward, and the waterish air 
Hissed, and the muist plumes of the songless reeds 
Moved as a wave which the wind moves no more. 
But the boar heaved half out of ooze and slime, 
Hia tense flank trembling round the barbed wound. 
Hateful; and llery with invasive eyes, 
And bristling with intolerable hair, 

Plunged, and the hounds clung, and green flowera and white 
Reddened am! broke all round lht;m where they came' 

It was a slight wound, but Meleager saw and joyfully proclaimed 
it- The attack was renewed. Peleus, Amphiaratis, Theseus, Jason, 
hurJed their lances. Ancseus was Uid low by a mortal wound. 
But Meleager, — 

Rock-rooted, fair with fierce and fastened lips, 

Clear eyes and springing muscle and shortening limb-* 

With chin aslant indrawn to a tightening throat. 

Crave, and with gathered sinews, like a god, — 

Aimed on the left side his well handled spear, 

Grasped where the ash was knottiest hewn, and smote, 

And with no missile wound, the monstrous hoar 

Right in the hairiest hollow of his hide, 

Under the last rib. sheer through bulk and bone, 

Deep in; and deeply smitten, and to death, 

The heavy horror with his hanging shafts 

Leapt, and fell furiously, and from raging lips 

Foamed out the latest wrath of all hit life.' 



> From Swinburne's Atalanta in Colydon. 




THE FAMILY OF j^TOLUS. 



Then rose a shout from those around ; they glorified the con- 
queror, — crowded to touch his hand. But he, placing his foot 
upon the head of the slain boar, turned to Atalanta, and bestowed 
on her the head and the rough hide — trophies of his success. 
Thereat she laughed — 

Lit with a lou^ blush to the brdicled hair. 

And rusc-colored and culd like very dawn, 

Golden and godlike, chastely with chaste lips, 

A faint grave laugh; and all they held their pcace^ 

And she passed by them. Then one cried, ** Lo now, 

Shall not the .\rcadlan shoot out lips at us. 

Saying all wc were despoiled by this one girl?" 

And all they rode against her violently 

And cast the fresh crown from her hair, and now 

They had rent her spoil away, dishonoring her, 

Save that Mcleagcr, as a tame lion chafed. 

Bore on them, broke thenij and as Bre cleaves wood. 

So clove and drove them, smi(t>rn in twain; but she 

Smote not nor heaved up hand; and this man tirst, 

Plexippus, crying out, *' This for love's sake, .Sweet," 

Drove at Mcleager, who with spear straightening 

Pierced his cheek through; then Toxeus made for him, 

Dumb, but his 5i>ear shake; vain and violent words. 

Fruitless; fur him, too. stricken through both sides 

The earth felt falling, . . . 

. , . And these being slain, 

None moved, nor spake. ^ 

Of this fearful setpiel to the hunt, Althaea has heard nothing. 
As she bears thank-offering to the temples for the victory of her 
sonv the bodies of her murdered brothers meet her sight. She 
shrieks, and beats her breast, and hastens to change the garments 
of joy for those of mourning. But when the author of the deed 
is known, grief gives way to the stem desire of vengeance on 
her son. The fatal brand, which the Destinies have linked with 
Meleager's life, she brings forth. She commands a fire lo be pre- 
pared. Four times she essays to place the brand upon the pile; 

1^ From Swinburne'^ Atalanta in Calydon. 




254 



ClASSrC MYTHS IN ENGLISH LITERATURE. 



four times draws back, shuddering before the destruction of her 
SOD. The feelings of the mother and the sister contend within 
her. Now she is pale at the thought of the purposed deed, now 
flushed again with anger at the violence of her offspring. Finally 
the sister prevails over the mother : — turning away her face, she 
throws the fatal wood upon the burning pile. Meleager, absent 
and unconscious of the cause, feels a sudden pang. He bums; 
he calls upon those whom he loves, Atalanta and his mother. But 
speedily the brand is ashes, and the life of Meleager is breathed 
forth to the wandering winds. 

When, at last, the deed was done, the mother laid violent hands 
upon herself. 





I 



THE HOUSE OF MINOS. 



9 149. Minos of Crete was a descendant of Inachus, tn the 
sixth generation. A son of Jupiter and Europa, he was, after 
death, transferred, with his brother Rhadamaiilhus and with King 
i^aciis, to Hades, where the three became judges of the Shades. 
This is the Minos mentioned by Homer and Hesiod, — the eminent 
law-giver. Of his grandson, Minos II., it is related that when 
aiming at the crown of Crete, he boasted of his power to obtain 
by prayer whatever he desired ; and as a test, he implored Nep- 
tune to send him a bull for sacrifice. The bull appeared ; but 
Minos, astonished at its great beauty, declined to sacrifice the 
brute. Neptune, therefore incensed, drove the bull wild, — worse 
still, drove Pasiphac, the wife of Minos, wild with love of it. 
The wonderful brute was finally caught and overcome by Her- 
cules, who rode it through the waves to Greece. But its oflspring, 
the Minotaur, a monster, bull-headed and man-bodied, remained, 
for many a day, a terror to Crete, — til! finally a famovis artificer, 
DaedaluSj constructed for him a labyrinth, with passages and turn- 
ings winding in and about like the river Mseander, so that whoever 
was enclosed in it might by no means find his way out. The 
Minotaur, roaming therein, lived upon human victims. For, it is 
said that, after Minos had subdued Megara,' a tribute of seven 
youths and seven maidens was sent every year from Athens to 
Crete to feed this monster ; and it was not until the days of The- 
seus of Athens that an end was put to both tribute and Minotaur.* 




1$ 138. 

« $ 15a. 
7:456- 



Apoltod. 3- I- $ 3: 15, Mi Pftusanias. 1. 97. $ 9. etc.; Ovid. Meum. 





and was imprisoned by him. See- 
ing no other way of escape, the 
artificer made, out of feathers, wings 
for his SOD Icarus and himself, which 
he fastened on with wax. Then 
poising themselves in the air, they 
flew away. Icarus had been warned 
not to approach too near to the sun, 
and all went well till they had passed 
Samos and Delos on the left and 
LcbjTilhos on the right. But then 
the boy, exulting in his career, soared 
upward. The blaze of the torrid 

sun softened the waxen fastenings of his wings. Off they came; 

and duwEi the lad dropped into the sea, which after him is 

named Icarian. 



** . . . with melting wa.x and loosened string! 
Sunk hapless Icitrus on unfatthrul wings; 
Meadlong he rushed through the afTrighted air, 
With limbs distorted and dislicvclkd hair; 
His scattered plumage danced upon the wave, 
And sorrwwing Nereids decked his watery grave; 
O'er his pale corse their pearly sca-flowcrs shed, 
And strewed with crimson moss his marble bed; 
Struck in their coral towers the passing hell, 
And wide in ocean tolled his echoing knell."' 

Dtcdahis, mouming his son, arrived finally in Sicily, where, 
being kindly received by King Cocalus, he built a temple to 
Apollo, and hung up his wings, an offering to the god. But 
Minos, having learned of the hiding-place of the artificer, fol- 
lowed him to Sicily with a great fleet ; and Daedalus would surely 

> Vergil, Mntid 6: 14-34: Ovid. Mebim. 8; 153-239; Hyginus, Fab. 40. 44. 

> Darwin. 



THE HOUSE Of MINOS, 



257 



have perished had not one of the daughters of Cocalus disposed 
of Minos by scalding him to death while he was bathing. 

It is said that Dzedalus could not bear the idea of a rival. His 
sister had placed her son Perdix under his ch^arge to be taught 
the mechanical arts. He was an apt scholar, and gave striking 
evidences of ingenuity. Walking on the seashore, he picked up 
the spine of a fish, iind imitating it in iron, invented the saw. 
He invented, also, a pair of compasses. But Daedalus, envious of 
his nephew, pushed him off a tower, and killed him. Minerva, 
however, in pity of the boy, changed him into a bird, the partridge, 
which bears his name. 

To the descendants of Inachus we shaU again return in the 
account of the house of I^bdacus. 





I 151. Cecrops* and Erichthonius.- — Cecrops, half-snake, Kalf- 
man, came from Crete or Egypt into Attica, founded Athens, and 
chose Miner\'a rather than Neptune as its guardian. His suc- 
cessor was Erichthonius, or Erechtheus, a snake-formed genius of 
the fertile soil of Attica. This Erichthonius' was a special ward 
of the goddess Minerva, who brought him up in her temple. His 
son Pandion had two daughters, Procne and PhilomeU, of whom 
he gave the former in marriage to Tereus, king of Thrace (or of 
Daulis in Phocis). This ruler, after his wife had borne him a son 
Itys (or Itylus), wearied of her, plucked out her tongue by the 
roots to ensure her silence^ and, pretending that she was dead, 
took in marrrage the other sister. Philomela, l^ocne by means 
of a web, into which she wove her story, mformed Philomela 
of the horrible tnilh. In revenge upon Tereus, the sisters killed 
Itylus, and sen'ed up the child as food to the father ; but the 
gods, in indignation, transformed Procne into a swallow, Philomela 
into a nightingale, forever bemoaning the murdered Itylus, and 
Tereus into a hawk, forever pursuing the sisters.* 



"Hark! ah, the nightingale — 
The tawny-throfltffd ! 

Harkr frum that moonlit cedar what a bunt! 
What triumph I hark 1 — what pain ! 
O wanderer from a Grecian shore, 



I Ovid. Mcmm. 2:555; Apollod. 3; 14, ( i: Pausanlas: and Hyginus. Fab. 48. 
*Ovid, Mciam. 2:554; 6:676; Homer. 11. 8:547; Od. 7; 81; Hyginus. Poet. 
Aalr. fl : 13. 

* For Ruikin'ft inierpreution, see Queen of the Air, { 38. 
< Apollod. 3 r 14, ( 8 ; Ovid. Metam. 6 : 412-676. 




DESCENDANTS OF CECROPS AND EKICHTHONIUS. 259 

Stilly after many yean in distant lands. 

Stilt nourishing in thy bewitdcr'd brain 

That uitd^ unijuench'd, deep-sunken, old-world pain — 

Say» will It never heal? 

And can tliiii fragrant lawn 

With its cool trees, and night. 

And the i^wcct, tranquil lliamcs, 

And moonshine, and the dew, 

To Cby rack'd heart and brain 

Afford no calm? 



"Dost thou to'night behold. 
Here, through the moonlight on this English grass. 
The unfriendly palace in the Thracian wild? 
Dost thou again peruse. 
With hut cheeks and scar'd eyes, 
The too clear wch, and thy dumb sister's shame? 
Dost thou once more assay 
Thy flignt, and feel come over thee, 
Poor fugitive, the feathery change 
Once more, and once more seem to make resound 
With love and hate, triumph and agony. 
Lone DauliSf and the high Cephissiat: vale? 
Listen, Kugcnia^ 

How thick the bursts come crowding through the lemvesl 
Again — thou hearest? 
EUcrnal passiun ! 
Eternal pain!*'' 

§ 152. Theseus.^ — A descendant of Erechtheiis and Pandion 
was ^geus, king of Athens. By yElhra, granddaughter of Pelops. 
he became the father of the Attic hero, Theseus, iiigeus, on part- 
ing from ^Cthraj before the liinh of the child, had placed his sword 
and shoes under a large stone, and had directed her to send the 
child to him if it should prove strong enough to roll away the stone 
and take what was under. The lad Theseus was brought up at 
Trcezen, of which Pittheus, .^ihra's father, was king. When .^thra 
thought the time had come, she led Theseus to the stone. T^e 

I Matthew Arnold, Philomela. 

*Ovid, Mciam, 7:350-404; Plutarch's Theseus. 



260 



CLASSIC MYTHS IX ENGLISH LITERATURE. 



removed it with ease, and took the sword and shoes. Since, at 
that time, the roads were infested with robbers, his grandfather 
Pittheus pressed him earnestly to lake the shorter and safer way 
to his father's country, by sea; but the youth, feeUng in himself 
the spirit and the soul of a hero, and eager to signalize hinnself like 
Hercules, determined on the more perilous and adventurous jour- 
ney by land. 

His first day's journey brought him to Epidaurus, where dwelt 
Periphetcs, a son of Vulcan, This ferocious sai'age always went 
armed with a club of iron, and all travellers stood in terror of his 
violence ; but beneath the blows of the young hero he speedily 
fell. 

Several similar contests with the petty tyrants and marauders of 
the country followed, in all of which Theseus was victorious. Most 
important was his slaughter of Procrustes, or the Stretcher. This 
giant had an iron bedstead, on which he used to tie all travellers 
who fell into his hands. If they were shorter than the bed, he 
stretched ihcm till they filled it; if they were longer than the 
bed, he lopped off their limbs. 

In the course of time, Theseus reached Athens; but here new 
dangers awaited him. For Medea, the sorceress, who had fled 
from Corinth after her separation from Jason,' had become the 
wife of w^geus. Knowing by her arts who the stranger was, and 
fearing the loss of her influence with her husband, if Theseus 
should be acknowledged as his son, she tried to poison the youth ; 
but the sword which he wore discovered him to his father, and 
prevented the fatal draught. Medea fled to Asia, where the 
country afterwards calletl Media is said to have received its name 
from her, Theseus was acknowledged by his sire, and declared 
successor to the throne. 

§ 153. Theaeus and Ariadne.' — Now the Athenians were at that 
time in deep aflfliclion, on account of the tribute of youths and 
maidens which they were forced to send to the Minotaur, dwelling 
in the labyrinth of Crete, — a penalty said to have been ira|x>scd 

' ^ 147. « Oii. II :jai ; PImnicli'k Theseiu; CaMu». LXIV. 




D£SC£ND^JVTS OF CBCfiOPS AND ERlCHTUONfUS. 261 

by Minos upon the Athenians because ^geus had sent AndrogeUs, 
the son of Minos, again.st 
the Marathonian bull^ and 
so had brought about the 
young mail's death. 

From this calamity 
Theseus resolved to de- 
liver his countrymen, or 
to die in the attempt. 
He, therefore, in spite of 
the entreaties of his 
father, presented himself 
as champion of Athens 
and of her fair sons and 
daughters, to do battle 
against the Minotaur j 
and departed with the 
victims in a vessel bear- 
ing black sails, which he promised his father to change for white 
in the event of his returning victorious. So, — 

Rather than cargo on cargo af corpses unHcad should be wafted ' 
Over the ravening sea to the piiiless monster of Creta, — 
Leaving the curved strand Pirjean, and wooing the breezes, 
Theseus furrowed the rlcrp to the dome superb of the tyrant. 

Then as the maid Ariadne beheld him with glances of longing, — 
Princess royal of Creta Nfinoan. tender, sequestered,— 
I-oclced in a mother's embrace, in seclusion virginal, fragrant, 
I-ike some myrtle set by streaming ways nf Eiirolas, 
Like to the varied tints that Spring invites with her breezes, — 
Then, as with eager gaze she looked her first upon Theseus, 
Never a whit she lowered her eyes nor ceased to consume him. 
Ere to the core profound her breast with love wa!» cnkitidlcd. 
— God-boro boy, thuu pitiless heart, provoker uf madness. 
Mischievous, mingling care with flic lleeting pleasure of mortals, — 
Goddess of Golgi, thou, frequenter of coverts Idalian, 

1 CatuHuK. L\I\'. From the Wedding of Pelcus and Thetis. A Translation in 
Hexameicrs, bv Cimrles Mills Gavlev. 





CLASSIC MYTI/S IN KNCUSH UTEkATUHE. 




In what wildorlng seas ye toseed the impassion ate maiden 

Ever a-sighing, — aye for the falr-haircd stranger a-sighing! 

Ah, what ponderous fears oppressed her Unguishing bosom. 

How, more pallid than gold her countenance flashed into whiteness, 

What time Theseus marched unto death or to glory undying. 

Manful, minded tu quell the imbrutcd might of the monster! 

Not unaided, however, did he undertake the task \ for Ariadne, 
apprehensive lest he might lose his way in the dxdalian labyrinth, 
furnished him with a thread, the gift of Vulcan, — which, unrolled 
by Theseus as he entered the maze, should enable him on his 
return to retrace his former path. Meanwhile, — 

Offering artless bribes, Ariadne invoked the Immurtals, 
Kindled voiceless lip with unvoic&ti tribute of incense. 
Suppliant, not in vain : for. like to an oak upon Taurus, 
Gnarl&d, swinging his arms, — like some cone*burthcnt^d pine-tree 
Oozing the life from his bark, that, riven to heart by the whirlwind, 
Wholly uproo(ed from earth, falls prone with extravagant ruin. 
Perishes, dealing doom with precipitate rush of its branches, — 
So was the Cretan brute by Theseus d"ne to destruction. 
E'en so, tossing in vain his horns to the vacuous breezes. 

Then with abundant laud he turned, unscathed from the cumlMI. 
Theseus," — guiding his ftict unsure by the filament slender. 
Lest as he lhrt>aded paths circuitous, ways labyrinthine. 
Some perverse, perplexing, erratic alley might foil him. 

Why should I tarry to tcU how, quilting her sire, Ariadne 
Quitting the sister's arms, the infatuate gaze of the mother, — 
She whose sole delight, whose hfe, was her desperate daughter, — 
How Ariadne made Uss of the love of them all than of Theseus? 
Why shculd I sing how sailing they came to the beaches of Dia, — 
White with the fosm, — how thence, false-hearted, the lover departing 
Left her benighted with sleep, the Minoiil, princess of Creta? 

Gazing amain from the marge of the Hond' reverberant Dia, 
Chafmg with ire. iodignaut, exasperate. — lo, Ariadne, 
Lorn Ariadne, beholds swifl craft, swift lover retreating. 
Nor can be sure she sees what things she sees of a surety, 
When upspringing from sleep, she shakes off treacherous slumber, 
I-one beholds herself on a shore Toriorn of the ocean. 
Carelessly hastens the youth, meantime, who, driving his o&r-bUdet 





SlipSj and the Iwistetl acarf encircling hur womanly bosoni; 
Stealthily gUiling, slip they downward into the billow, - 
Fall, and are tossed by the buoyant flaod to the feet of the fair one. 
Nothing she recks of the coif, of the floating garment as little, 
Cares not a moment then, whose care hangs only on I'heseus,— 
Wretched of heart, soul-wrecked, dependent only on Theseus,— 
Desperate, woeunsclfcd with a cureless sorrow incessant, 
Frantic, bosoming torture of thorns Erycina had planted. . . . 

Then, they say. that at last, infuriate out of all measure, 
Once and again she poured shrill-voiced iihrieks from her bosom; 
Helpless, clambered steeps, sheer beetling over the surges, 
Whence to enrange with her eyes vast futile regions of ocean; — 
Lifting the folds, soft foUls of her garments, baring her ankles, 
Dashed into edges of upward waves that trembled before her; 
Uttered, anguished then, one wail, her maddest and saddest, — 
Catcbing with tear-wct lips pour sobs that shivering choked her : — 
"Thus is it far from my home, O traitor, and far from its altars — 
Thus on a desert strand. — dost leave me, treacherous Theseus? 
Thus la il thou dost flout i)ur vow, dost flout the TmnvorUls, — 





r 



CLjtSS/C MYTHS IS ENGLISH I.ITERATURB. 

Carelessly homeward bcarest, with baleful ballast of corses? 

Never, could never a plea forcfend thy cruelly minded 

Counsel? Never a pity entreat thy bosom fur shelter? , . . 

Hence, let never a maid confide in the oath of a lovers 

Never presume man's vows hold aught trustwurthy within them! 

Verily, while in anguish of heart his spirit is lunging. 

Nothing he spares to assevcr, nor aught makes scruple to promise: 

But, an his dearest desire, his nearest of heart be accorded' — 

Nothing he recks of afBancc, and reckons perjury, — nothing. 

"Oh! what lioness whelped thee? Oh I what desolate cavern? 
What was the sea that spawned, that spat from its churning abysses. 
Thee, — what wulfish Scylla, or Syrtis, or vasty Char}'bdis, 
Thee, — thus thankful fur life, dear gift of living, I gave thee? . - . 
Had it not liked thte still to acknowledge vows that we plighted, 
Mightcst thou homeward, yet, have home mc a damsel behoMen, 
Fain to obey thy will, and to lave thy feet like a servant, 
Fain to bcdci.k thy couch with purple coverlet for thee. 

" But to the hoUow winds why stand repeating my f|uarrel. — 
I, for sorrow unselfcd, — they, but brceecs insensate, — 
Potent neither voices to hear nor words to re-echo? . . . 
Yea, but xvhere shall I turn? Forlorn, what succor rely on? 
■ Haste to the Ciuo&sian hills?' Ah. see how distantly surging 
Deeps forbid, distending their gulfs abhorrent before me \ 
'Comfort my heart, mayhap, with the loyal love of my husband?' 
Lo, the reluctant oar, e'en now, he plies to forsake mc ! — 
Nought but the homeless strand of an isle remote nf the ocean ! 
No, no way of escape, where the circling sea wilhuut shore is, — 
No, no counsel of flight, no hope, no sound of a mortal; 
All things desolate, dumb, yea, nil things summoning deathward I 
Yet mine eyes shall not fade in death that sealeth the eyelids. 
Nor from the frame outworn shall fare my lingering senses, 
Ere, undone, fmm powers divine I claim retribution — 
Ere I call — in the hour supreme, on the faith of Fromortals! 

"Come, then, Kighters of Wrong, O vengeful dealers of justice 
Braided with coil of the serpents, O Eumentdcs, ye of 
Brows that blazon ire exhaling aye from the bosom, 
Hute, oh, haste ye, hither and hear mc, vehement plaining, 
Destitute, fired with rage, stark-blind, demented for fury! — 
As with careleas heart yon Theseus sailed and forgot me, 
So with folly of heart, may he slay himself and his household I " 



D£SC£XDAJ^7S OF CSC/fO/'S A\0 EH/CHTHON/US. 2o& 



. , • Then with a nod supreme Olympian Jupiter nodded i 
Quttkcd thereat old Earth, — quaked, shuddered the terrified waters, 
Ay, and the conitcllalions in Heaven that glitter were jangled. 
Stiai|{htway like sumc cloud on the inward vision of 'Ilieseus 
Dropped oblivion down, enshrouding vo^-s he had cherished. 
Hiding away all trace uf the »ulemn behest uf his father. 

For, as was saiH before, ^gciis, on the departure. of his son 
for Creta, had given him this command ; " If Minerva, god- 
dess of our city, grant thee victory over the Minotaur, hoist on 
thy return, when first the dear hills of Atiica greet thy vision, white 
canvas to herald thy joy and mine, that mine eyes may see the pro- 
pitious sign and know the glad day that restores thee safe to me." 

. . . Kven as clouds compelled by urgent push of the breejies 
Float from the brow uplift uf a snow*cnvclop£d mountain, 
So from Theseus passed all prayer and 

behest uf liiii father. 
Waited the sire meanwhile, looked out 

from his tower over ocean. 
Wasted his anxious eyes in futile labor 

of weeping, 
Waited expectant, — saw to the south- 
ward sails black-bellied — 
Hurled him headlor^; down from the 

horrid steep to destruction,— 
Weening hateful Fate had severed the 

fortune of Theseus. 
Theseus, then, as he paced that gloom 

of the home of liis father, 
Insolent Theseus knew himself what 

manner of evil 
He with a careless heart had aforetime 

Ariadne, — 
Fixed .\riadne that still, slilt stared where the 

ship bad receded, — 
Wounded, revolving in heart her countless mus> 

ter of sorrows- 

§ 154. Bacchus and Ariadne. — Dulforthe 
deserted daughter of Minos a happier fate was 





. . . Sweeping over the shore, \o, beautiful, blooming lAcchiUf* — 
Chorused of Satyn in (Uncc and of Xy&iaD'born Silcni» — 

Seeking fair Ariadne, — afire with 

&zmc of a lover ! 
Lightly around him leaped Bac- 

chantH, strenuous^ frenzied* 
Nodding their heads* "Euhoe!" 
to the ay, **Eahoe, O Bac- 
chus!" 
Sucie — eiiwrcathM spears of 

lacchus madly were wavnog; 
Some — ensanguined limbs of the 
builock, quivering, brand- 
ished; 
Some — were twining themselves 
with sinuous snakes that twist- 
ed: 
Some — with Teasels of signs 
mysterious, pa»cd in proces- 
sion — 

Symbols profound that in vain the profane may seek to decipher: 
Certain struck with the palms — with tapered fingem on timbrels. 
Others the tenuous clash of the rounded cymbals awakened; — 
Brayed with a raucous roar through the turmoil many a trumpet. 
Many a stridulous fife went, shrill, barbarian, shrieking. 



So the grieving, much-wronged Ariadne was consoled for the 
loss of her mortal spouse by an immortal lover. The blooming 
god of the vine wooed and won her. After her death, the golden 
crown that he had given her was transferred by him to the heavens. 
As it mounted the ethereal spaces, its gems, growing in bright- 
ness, became stars : and still it remains fixed, as a constellation. 
between the kneeling Hercules and the man that holds the ser- 
pent, 

I Catullus. LXIV. Translation. Charles Mills Gayley. 




DESCEJ^DA/^rS OF CECROPS AND ERICHTHONIUS. 267 



§ 155. The Amazons. — As king of Athens, it is said that 
Theseus undertook an expedition against the Amazons. Assailing 
them before they had recovered from the attack of Hercules, he 
carried off their queen Antiope ; but they in turn, invading the 
country of Athens, penetrated into the city itself; and there was 
fought the final battle in which Theseus overcame them. 

§ 156. TheseuB and Pirithous. — A famous friendship between 
Theseus and Pirithotis of Thcssaly, son of Jupiter, originated in 
the midst of arms. PirithoQs had nude an irruption into the plain 
of Marathon, and h.id carried off the herds of the king of Athens. 
Theseus went to repel the pUjnderers. The moment the Thessalian 
beheld him, he was seized with admiration \ and stretching out his 
hand as a token of peace, he cried, "Be judge thyself, — what 
satisfaction dost thou require?" — "Thy friendship/' replied the 
Athenian ; and they swore inviolable fidelity. Their deeds cor- 
responding to their professions, ihey continued true brothers 
in arms. When, accordingly, Piritholls was to marry Hippo- 
daraia, daughter of Atrax, Theseus took his friend's part in the 
battle that ensued between the I^piihae (of whom Pirithotis was 
king) and the Centaurs. For it happened that at the marriage 
feast, the Centaurs were among the guests; and one of them, 
Eurytion, becoming intoxicated, aitempted to offer violence to 
the bride. Other Centaurs followed his example ; combat was 
joined ; Theseus leaped into the fray, and not a few of the guests 
bit the dust. 

Later, each of these friends aspired to espouse a daughter of 
Jupiter. Theseus fixed his choice on Leda's daughter Helen, 
then a child, but afterwards famous as the cause of the Trojan 
war ; and with the aid of his friend he carried her off, only, how- 
ever, to restore her at very short notice. As for Pirithoi3s, he 
aspire<l to the wife of the monarch of Erebus ; and Theseus, 
though awaie of the danger, accompanied the ambitious lover to 
the underworld. But Pluto seized and set them on an enchanted 
rock at his palace gate, where, fixed, they remained till Hercules, 
arriving, liberated Theseus, but left PirithoUs to his fate. 





268 



ClASS/C MYTHS AV ENGUSH UTERATURE, 



§ 157. Phsdra and Hippolytus. —After the death of Antiope, 
Theseus married Phaedra, sister of the deserted Ariadne, daughter 
of Minos. But Phaedra, seeing in Hippolytus, the son of Theseus, 
a youth endowed with al! the graces and virtues of his father, and 
of an age corresponding to her own, loved him. When, however, 
he repulsed her advances, her love was changed to despair and hate. 
Hanging herself, she left for her husband a scroll containing false 
charges against Hippolytus. The infatuated husband, filled, there- 
fore, with je.ilousy of his son, imprecated the vengeance of Nep- 
tune upon him. As Hippolytus, one day, drove his chariot along 
the shore, a sea- monster raised himself above the waters, and fright- 
ened the horses so that they ran away and dashed the chariot to 
pieces. Hippolytus was killed, but by j^sculapius was restored to 
life ; and then removed by Diana from the power of his deluded 
father, was placed in Italy under the protection of the nynaph 
Egeria. 

In his old age, Theseus, losing the favor of his people, retired 
to the court of Lycomedes, king of Scyros, who at first received 
him kindly, but afterwards treacherously put him to death. 




/ 



THE HOUSE OF LABDACUS. 



269 



CHAPTER-XXri. 



I 



THE HOUSE or LABDACUS. 

§ 158. The BCisfortunes of Thebes. — Returning to the descen- 
dants of Inachus, we find that the curse which fell upon Cadmus 
when he slew the dragon of Mars followed inexorably every scion 
of his house. His daughters, Semcle, Ino, Autonoe, Agave, — his 
grandsons, Melicertes, Act^con, Peniheus, — lived sorrowful lives, 
or suffered violent deaths. The misfortunes of one branch of his 
family, sprung from his son Polydorus, remain to be told. The 
curse seemed to have spared Polydorus himself. His son Lab- 
dacus, also, lived a quiet life as king of Thebes, and left a son, 
Laius upon the throne. But ere long I^ius was warned by an 
oracle that there was danger to his throne and life if his son, 
new-bom, should reach man's estate. He, therefore, committed 
the child to a herdsman, with orders for its destniction ; but the 
herdsman, moved with pity, yet not daring entirely to disobey, 
pierced the child's feet, purposing to expose him to the elements 
on Mount Cithaeron. 

§ 159. CEdipus.' — In this plight the infant was given to a ten- 
der-hearted fellow-shepherd, who carried him to King Polybus of 
Corinth and his queen, by whom he was adopted and called (Edi- 
pus, or Swollen-foot. 

Many years afterward^ CEdipus, learning from an oracle that he 
was destined to be the death of his father, left the realm of his re- 
puted sire, Polybus. It happened, however, that Laius was then 
driving to Delphi, accompanied only by one attendant. In a nar- 
row road he met CEdipus, also in a chariot. On the refusal of the 
youthful stranger to leave the way at their command, the attendant 

^ SopHocles. CEdipus Rex. CEdlpui Coloneus. Antigone; Euripides, Phceniss^; 
Apollod. 3:5. M 7, 8. 





270 



CLASSIC MYTHS IN ENGUSH UTERATURE. 



killed one of his horses. CEdipus, consumed with rage, slew boih 
Lams and the attendant ; and thus unknowingly fulfilled both oracles. 

Shortly after this event, the city of Thebes, to which CEdipus 
had repaired, was afflicted with a monster that infested the high- 
road. It was called the Sphinx. It had the body of a lion, and 
the upper part of a woman. It lay crouched on the top of a 
rock, and arresting all travellers who carae that way, propounded to 
them a riddle, with the condition that those who could solve it 
should pass safe, but tho«e who failed should be killed. Not one 
had yet succeeded in guessing it. Gidipus, not daunted by these 
alarming accounts, boldly advanced to the trial. The Sphinx 
asked him, " What animal is it that in the morning goes on four 
feet, at noon on iwo^ and in the evening upon three?" CEdipus 
replied, " Man, who in childhood creeps on hands and knees, in 
manhood walks erect, and in old age goes with the aid of a staff." 
The Sphinx, mortified ai the collapse of her riddle, cast herself 
down from the rock and jjerished. 

§ t6o. CEdipuSf the King. — In gratitude for their deliverance, 
the Thebans made CEdipus their king, giving him in marriage 
their queen, Jorasta. He. ignorant of his parentage, had already 
become the slayer of liis fjther ; in marrying tlie queen he bec:ame 
the husband of his mother. These horrors remained undiscovered, 
till, after many years, Thebes, being afflicted with famine and 
pestilence, the oracle was consulted, and, by a series of coin- 
cidences, the double crime of CEdipus came to light. k\ once, 
Jocasta put an end to her life by hanging herself. .\s for CEdi- 
pus, horror-struck, — 

When her form 
He uw, poor wretch * with one wild fearful cry, 
The iwisted rope he loosens, anJ she fell, 
Ill-starred one, on llie ground. Then came a sight 
Most fearful. Tearing from her robe the clasps. 
All chased with };uld, with wlilcb she decked herself, 
He wilh thftii struck the pupils of his eyes, 
With wurds like these: "Because they had nut seen 
What ills he suffcrcfl, and what ills he did, 




THU HOUSE OF LABDACUS. 



tn 



Thev in the dark should loutc, in tin^Mo come. 
On those whom they ought never tu ^^e seen. 
Nor know the dear ones whom he fain had known." 
With such like wails, nut once ur twice alune, 
Raising his e)*es he smote Ihem, and the halls, 
All bleeding, stained his cheek.* 

§ i6i. (Edipus at Colonus. — After these sad events, CEdipus 
would have iett I hcbcs, but the oracle forbade the people to let 
him go. Jocasta's brother, Creon, was made regent of the realm 
for the two sons of CEdipus. But, after CEdipus had grown con- 
tent to stay, these sons of his, with Creon, thrust hiin into exile. 
Accompanied by his daughter Antigone, he went begging through 
the land. His other daughter. Ismene^ at first, stayed at home. 
Cursing the sons who had abandoned him, but bowing his own 
will in submission to the ways of God, CEdipus approached the 
hour of his death in Colonus, a village near Athens. His friend 
Theseus, king of Athens, comforted and sustained him to the last. 
Both his daughters were, also, with hira : — 

And then he called his girls, and ba<!c them fetch 
Qear water from the stream, and bring tcj him 
For cleansing and lihation. And they went, 
Both of them, to yon hill we look upon, 
Owned by Dcmetcr of the fair green corn, 
And quickly did his bidding, bathed his limbs, 
And clothed them in the garment that is meet. 
And when he had his will in all they did. 
And not one wish continued unfulfilled, 
Zeus from the dark depths thundered, and the girli 
Heard it, and shuddering, at their father's knees, 
Falling they wept; nor did they then forbear 
Smiting their breasts, nor gruanings lengthened out; 
And when he heard their bitter cry, forthwith 
Folding his arms around them, thus he spake: 
" My children, on this day ye cease to have 
A father. All my days are spent and gone; 
And ye no more shall lead your wretched life, 

i'l Sophocles: CEdipus. the Iving. Translation by E. H. Phxmptre. 



CLASSIC MYTHS IN ENGLISH UTERATURE. 

Caring for me. Hard was it, that I know. 
My children! Yet one word is itrong to looiCi 
Although alune, the burden of these tails, 
For love in larger store ye could not have 
From any than from him who standeth here, 
Of whom bereaved ye now shall live your life." * 

There was sobbing, then silence. Then a voice called him, — 

and he followed. God look him from his troubles. Antigone 
returned to Thebes ; — where, as we shall see, her sisterly fidelity 
showed itself as tnie as, aforetime, her filial affection. 

Her brothers, Eteocles and Polynices, had meanwhile agreed to 
share the kingdom between them, and to reign alternately year by 
year. The first year fell to the lot of Eteocles, who, when hi? 
time expired, refused to surrender the kingdom to his brother. 
Polynices, accordingly, fled to Adra.stus, king of Argos, who ga\'e 
him his daughter in marriage, and aided him with an army to 
enforce his claim to the kingdom. These causes led to the cele- 
brated expedition of the "Seven against Thebes," which furnished 
ample materials for the epic and tragic poets of Greece. And 
here the younger heroes of Greece make their appearance. 

1 CEdipus at Colonua, II. xGoo, etc. Translation by E. H. Plumptr«. 





THE YOUNGER HEROES. 



273 



CHAPTER XXIII. 



THE YOUNGER HEROES. 



I 



f 162. Their Exploits. — The exploits of the sons and grand- 
sons of the chieftains engaged in the Calydonian Hunt and the 
Quest of the Golden Fleece are narrated in four stories, — the 
Seven against Thebes, the Siege of Troy, the Wanderings of 
Ulysses, and ihe Adventures of i^neas. 

§ 163. The Seven against Thebes.' — The allies of Adrastns and 
Polynices in tlie enterprise against Thebes were Tydeus of Caly- 
don, half-brother of Meleager, Parthenopseus of Arcadia, son of 
Atalanta and Mars, Capaneus of Argos, Hippomedon of Argos, 
and Amphiaraiis, the brother-in-law of Adrastus. AmphiaraUs 
opposed the expedition, for being a soothsayer, he knew that none 
of the leaders except Adrastus would live to return from Thebes; 
but on his marriage to Eriphyle, the l(ing*s sister, he had 
agreed that whenever he and Adrastus should differ in opin- 
ion, the decision should be left to Eriphyle. Polynices, knowing 
this, gave Eriphyle the necklace of Harmonia, and thereby gained 
her to his interest. This was the self-same necklace that Vulcan 
had given to Harmonia on her marriage with Cadmus; Poly- 
nices had taken it with him on his flight from Thebes. It seems 
to have been still fraught with the curse of the house of Cadmus. 
But Eriphyle could not resist so tempting a bribe. By her decision 
the war was resolved on, and AmphiaraUs went to his fate. He 
bore his part bravely in the contest, but still could not avert his 
destiny. While, pursued by the enemy he was fleeing along the 
rivcr^ a thunderbolt launched by Jupiter opened the ground, and 
he, his chariot, and his charioteer were swallowed up. 

1 i£schyl. Seven against Thebes; Eurip. Phocnissx; ApoIIod. 3:6 and f\ 
Hygin. Fab. 69. 70; Pausan. 8 and 9; Statius. 1'hebatd. 



274 



CLASSIC MYTHS fX ENGLISH LITERATURE. 



\ 



It is unnecessary here to detail all the acts of heroism or 
atrocity which marked this contest. The fidelity, however, of 
Evadne stands out as an offset to the weakness of Eriphyle. Her 
husband, Capancus, having in the ardor of the fight declared that 
he would force his way into the city in spite of Jove himself, placed 
a ladder against the wall and raounled ; but Jupiter, offended at 
his impious language, struck him with a thunderbolt. When his 
obsequies were celebrated, Evadne cast herself on his funeral pile 
and perished. 

It seems that early in the contest Eteocles consulted the sooth- 
sayer Tircsias as to the issue. Now, this Tiresias in his youth had 
by chance seen Minen'a bathing ; and had been deprived by her 
of his sight, but afterwards had obtained of her the knowledge 
of futjre events. When consulted by Eteocles, he declared that 
victory should fall to Thebes if Menueceus, the son of Creon, 
gave himself a voluntary viriim. The heroic youth, learning the 
response, threw away his life in the first encounter. 

The siege continued long, with various success. .\l length both 
hosts agreed that the brothers should decide their quarrel by single 
combat. They fought, and fell each by the hand of the otlier. The 
armies then renewed the fight ; and at last the invaders were forced 
to yield, and fled, leaving their dead unburied. Creon, the uncle 
of the fallen princes, now become king, caused Eteocles to be 
buried with distinguished honor, but suffered the body of Polyniccs 
to lie where it fell, forbidding every one, on pain of death, to give 
it burial. 

§ 164. Antigone,' the sister of Polynices, heard with indignation 
the revolting edict which, consigning her brother's body to the 
dogs and vultures, deprived it of the rites that were considered 
essential to the repose of the dead. Unmoved by the dissuading 
counsel of her affectionate but timid sister, and unable to procure 
assistance, she determined to brave the hazard and to bury the 
body with her own hands. She was detected in the act. When 

1 Sophocles, Antigone; £urip. Suppliants. 



A 




THE YOUNGER HEROES. 



275 



Creon asked the fearless woman whether she dared disobey the 
laws, she answered : — 

Y«, for it was not Zeus who gave them forth, 

Nor justice^ dwelling with the guds below, 

Who traced these laws for all tlic sons of men; 

Nor did I deem thy cdkls blruiig enough, 

That thou, a mortal man, should'st overpass 

The un'ATitten laws of God that know no change. 

They arc not of to-day nor yesterday, 

But live forever, nor can man assign 

When htst they sprang to being. Not through fear 

Of any man's resolve was I prepared 

Before the gods to bear the penalty 

Of sinning against these. That I should die 

I knew (how should I not?), though (hy decree 

Had never spoken. And before my lime 

If I shall die, I reckon this a gain; 

For whoso lives, as I, in many woes. 

How can it be but he shall gain by death? 

And so for me to bear this doom of thine 

Has nothing fearful. But, if I had left 

My mother's son unburied on his death. 

In that I should have suffered; but in this 

I sulTer not.' 

Creon, unyielding and unable to conceive of a law higher than 
that he knew, gave orders that she should be buried alive, as hav- 
ing dehberately set at nought the solemn edict of the city. Her 
lover, Hsemon, the son of Creon, unable to avert her fate, would 
not survive her, and fell by his own hand. It is only after his son's 
death, and as he gazes upon the corpses of the lovers, that the 
aged Creon recognizes ihe insolence of his narrow judgment. 
And those that stand beside him say : — 

Man's highest blessedness 
In wisdom chiefly stands; 
And in the things that touch upon the gods, 
Tis best in word or deed, 



1 Sophocles, Antigone, II. 450-^^70. Translation by £. H. Plumplre. 





^^P f 164 tf. Tte KpifvA*— Suck «» the U of tbe boose ol 

^ labrtara^ The bmc of CarlMs expires with the fiimily of CEdi- 

H piM. Bst the ««d(fiag gear of HanDonia his DOC yet folfiDcd its 

^L^ balefal nisaiocL Amphiarafa had,widi his hst breath, enjoined his 

^^H MO AlcoHBoa to areoge him 00 the £uthkss Eriphyfe, Akaneoo 

^^V ct^aged his word ; but before armmplwhiiig the fefl porpoae, he 

H^ was ordered by an orade of Ddphi to Gondact against Thebes 

H a new expedition. Thereto his iDoAer Enphvle. influenced by 

V Thenander, the son of Polrnices, and bribed this time by the gift 

of Harmonia's wedding garment, impe&ed oot only Alcmaeon, but 

her other son, Amphilocbus. The descendants {Epig^mi) of the 

former Seven thus renewed the war against Thebes. They leirelled 

the city to the ground. Its inhabitants, counselled by Tiresias, 

look refuge in foreign lands. Tiresias, himself, perishe*i during the 

flight. Alcmaeon, returning to .Argos, put his mother to death, but 

in consequence repeated in his own esrpenence the penalty of 

Orestes. The outfit of Harmonia preserved its malign influence 

until, at last, it was devoted to the temple at Delphi, and removed 

from the sphere of mortal jealousies. 

' Sopbodcs, AntieDne. closing chonis. 

SpaijMnUu9:9. ^ 3.3: Hcrodocus 5 : 61 : Apotbdocoi. 






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NOUSES CONCERNED IN THE TROJAN WAR, 277 




CHAPTER XXIV. 



HOUSES CONCERNED IN THE TROJAN WAR, 



§165. Three Houses Concerned. — Before entering upon the 
causes of the war against Troy, we must notice the three Grecian 
families that were principally concerned, — those of Peleus, Atreus, 
and Tyndareus. 

§ 165 a. Peleus' was the son of j^acus and grandson of Jove. 
It was for his father -^acus, king of Phthia in Thessaly, that, as we 
have seen, an army nf Myrmidons was created by Jupiter. Peleus 
joined the expedition of the Argonauts; and on that journey 
beheld and fell in love with the sea-uymph Thetis, daughter of 
Nereus and Doris. Such was the beauty of the nymph that Jupi- 
ter himself had sought her in marriage \ but having learned from 
Prometheus, the Titan, that Hietis should [)ear a son who should 
be greater than his father, the Olympian desisted from his suit, 
and decreed that Thetis should be the wife of a mortal. By the 
aid of Chiron, the Centaur, Peleus succeeded in winning the god- 
dess for his bride. In this marriage to be productive of momen- 
tous results fur mortals, the immortals manifested a lively interest. 
They thronged with the Thessalians to the wedding in Pharsalia ; 
they honored the wedding feast with their presence, and reclining 
on ivory couches, gave ear while the three Sisters of Fate, in re- 
sponsive strain, chanted the fortunes of Achilles, — the future hero 
of the Trojan War, — the son that should spring from this union o( 
a goddess with a mortal. The following is from a translation 
of the famous poem. The Wedding of Peleus and Thetis : — 

1 Ovid. Mcum. 11:221-365; Catullus, LXIV.; Hyffin. Fab, 14 ; ApolloQ. Rhod., 
Argon. 1:558: V'ai. Fidccus, Argon.; Stutius, ActuUeid, 



278 



CLASSIC MYTHS IN ENGLISH LITEHATVRE. 



, . . Now, on the day forcKt, Aurora fonaking the oceaii* 
Oinuons the uritrnt sky: all Thcssaly, seeking the palace. 
Fares to the royal seat, in populous muster exultant. 
Heavy of hand with gifts, but blithesome of cheer for the joyonce. 
Scyros behind they leave, they leave Phthiotican Tempe, 
Crannon's glittering domes and the battlements Larisaean, 
Cunnbcr Pharsalia, throng the abodes and the streets of Pharsalus. 
Fields, meanwhile are untilled, grow tender the necks of the oxcd. 
None with thtf^ curving teeth of the harrow clearcth the vinc>-ard. 
None upturneth the glche with bulls and the furrowing ploughabare* 
None with gardener's knife lets light through the branches umbrageous; 
Squalid the rust creeps up o'er ploughs forgotten of ploughmen. 



Bright is the palace, ay, through for retreating recesses 
Bla/ing fur sheen benign of the upulent gold and the silver: 
Ivory gk-ams on the thrones, great goblets glint on the tables. 
Glitters the spacious home, made glad with imperial splendor, — 
Ay, but most — in the hall midinust — is the couch of the goddess. 
Glorious, made of the tusks of the Indian elephant — polished — 
Spread with a wonder of quilt empurpled with dye of the sea-shell. 

On this coverlet of purple were embroidered various scenes 

illustrating the lessons of heroism and justice that the poet would 
inculcate : to the good fiilleth good ; to the evil, evil speedily. 
Therefore, the story of Theseus and Ariadne, which has already 
been recounted, was here displayed in cunning handiwork. For, 
Theseus, the false lover, bold of hand but bad of heart, gained 
by retributive justice undying ruth and misery; whereas Ariadne, 
the injured and innocent, restored to happiness, won no less a 
reward than Bacchus himself. Gorgeously woven with such 
antique and heroic figures was the famous quilt upon the couch 
of Thetis. For a season the wedding guests feasted their eyes 
upon it : — 

Then when Theasaly's youth, long gazing, ha<l of the wonder 
Their content, they gan give place to the lords of Olympus. 
iiM-akes the recumbent I 





HOUSES COSXERNED IN THE TROJAN WAR. 279 

Konghens the placid deep with eager breath of the mornings 

Urges the waves, and imptrlft, tu the thrc&hi>Id of journeying PhcebuB, — 

They, at first, blown uutward unrcmghly wlitn lJa«"n is a-rising, 

Limp slow-footed, and loiter with laughter lightsumely plashing, 

But, with Ihc freshening gale, creep quicker anil thicker together, 

Till on horiiun they float refulgent of luminous purple, — 

So from the portal withdrawing the jtomp 'lhei»satian departed 

Fftring on world-wide ways to the far-off homes of their fathers. 

Now when ihey were aloof, drew nigh from Pclion's summit 
Chiron bearing gifts from copses and glades of the woodland — 
Gifts that the meadows yield : what flowers on Thessaly's mountains, 
Or, by waves of the strcsm, the prolific breath of the West Wind, 
Warming, woos to the day, all such in bunches assorted 
Bore he. Flattered with odors the whok house brake Into laughter. 
Came there next Pencils, abandoning verdurous 'Pcrape^ 
Tempc embowered deep mid superim pendent forests. 



AncJ after the river-god, who bore with him nodding plane-trees 
and lofty beeches, straight slim ?iurels, the lithe poplars, and the 
airy cypress to plant about the p.dace that thick foliage might give 
it shade, followed Prometheus, the bold and cunning of heart, 
wearing still the marks of his ancient punishment on the rocks of 
Caucasus. Finally the father of the gods himself came, with his 
holy spouse and his offsprings — all, save Phtjebus and his one 
sister, who naturally looked askance upon a union to be productive 
of untold misfortune to their favored town of Troy. 

. . . W^en now the gods had recUned their limlis on the ivory couches, 

Viands many and rare were heaped on (he banqueting tables, 

Whilst the decrepit Sisters of Fate, their tottering bodies 

Solemnly swayed, and rehearsed their soothfast vaticination. 

— Lo, each tremulous frame was wrapped in robe of a whiteness, 

Down to the ankles that fell, with nethermost border of purple. 

While on ambrosial brows there rested fillets like snowflakes. 

They, at a task eternal their hands religiouiily plying. 

Held in the left on high* with wool enfolded, a distaff, 

Delicate fibres wherefrom, drawn down, were shaped by the right hand — 

Shaped by lingers upturned, — but the down-turned thjmb set a-whirling, 

Poised with perfected whorl, the industrious bhaft of the spindle. 




280 



Classic MYTI/S liV ENGUSII LITERATURE. 



Sttllf u they span, as thejr ipan, was the tooth kept nipping aod smoothiag. 
And to the withered lip cluog morsels of wool as they smoothed it — 
Filaments erstwhile rough that stood from the twist of the surface. 
Close at their feet, meantime, were woven baskets of wicker 
Guarding the stift white balls of the wool resplendent within litem. 
Thus then, parting the strands, these Three with resonant voices 
Uttered* in chant divine, predestined sooth of the fature — 
Prophecy neither in time, nor yet in eternity, shaken. 

"Thou that cxaltesl renown of thy name with the name of thy vaUir, 
Bulwark Kmathian, blest above sires in tlic offspring of promise. 
Hear with thine ears this day what oracles fall from the Sisters 
Chanting the fates for thee; — but you, ye destiny-drawing 
Spindles, hasten the threads of the destinies set for the future ! 

*' Rideth the orb upon high that heralds boon unto bridegrooms — 
Hesperus, — comclh annn with star propitious the virgin, 
Speerieth thy solI to subdue — submerge it with love at the flood'lide. 
Hasten, ye spindles, and run, yea, gallop, ye thread •running spindles! 

*' Erstwhile, never a home hath roofed like generous loving 
Never before hath Love conjoin&d lovers so dearly, — 
Never with harmony such as cndureth for Thetis and Pclcus. 
Hasten, ye spindles, and run, yea, gallop, ye thread-running spindles! 

** Bom unto you shall be the undaunted heart of Achilles, 
Aye, by his brave breast known, unknown by his back to the foeman, — 
Victor in onslaught, victor in devious reach of the race-course. 
Fleeter of foot than feet of the stag that lighten and vanish, — 
Hasten, yc spindles, and run, yea, gallop, yc ihrcad-running spindles I ** 

So the sisters prophesied the future of the hero, Achilles. How 
by him the Trojans should fall, as fall the ears of corn when 
they are yellow before the scythe, — how because of him Sca- 
mander should run red, warm with blood, choked with blind bodies, 
into the whirling Hellespont ; how finally he, himself, in his prime, 
should fall, and how on his tomb should be sacrificed the fair 
Polyxcna, daughter of Priam, whom he had loved. "So," says 
Catullus, " sang the Fates. For those were the days before piety 
and righteous action were spumed by mankind, the days when 




I 



HOUSES CONCERNED iN THE TROJAN iVAK 



Jupiter and his immortals deigned to consort with zealous man, to 
enjoy the sweet odor of his burnt-ofTering, to march beside hira 
to battle, to swell his shout in victory and his lament in defeat, to 
smile on his peaceful harvests, to recline at his banquets, and to 
bless the weddings of fair women and goodly heroes. Rut now, 
alas/' concludes Catullus, "godliness and chastity, truth, wisdom, 
and honor have departed from among men *' : — 

Wherefore the gods no more vouchiiare their pretence to mort&lj. 
Suffer themselves no more to be touched hy the ray of the morning. 
But there were gods lu the pure, — in the gulden prime of the Ages. 

S 165 b, Atreus was the son of Pelops and Hippodamia and 
grandson of Tantalus, therefore great-grandson of Jove. Both by 
blood and by marriage he was connected with Theseus. He took 
to wite Aerope, granddaughter of Minos II., king of Crete, and by 
her had two sons, Agamemnon, the general of the Grecian army 
in the Trojan War, and MenclaUs, at whose solicitation the war 
was undertaken. Of Atreus it may be said that with cannibal 
atrocity like that of his grand::?ire, Tantalus, he on one occasion 
wreaked his vengeance on a brother, Thyestes, by causing him to 
eat the flesh of two of his own children. A son of this Thyestes, 
^gisthus by name, revived, in due time, against Agamemnon the 
treacherous feud that had existed between their fathers. 

§ 165 r. Tyndareua was king of Laced^emon (Sparta), His 
wife was Leda, daughter of Thestius of Calydon, and sister of 
Althaea, the mother of Meleager and Dejanira. To Tyndareus 
Leda bore Castor and Clytemnestra ; to Jove she bore Pollux and 
Helen. The two former were mortal ; the two latter, immor- 
tal. Clytemnestra was married to Agamemnon of Mycenae, to 
whom she bore three children, — Electra, Iphigenia, and Ores- 
tes. Helen, the fair immediate cause of the Trojan War, became 
the wife of Menelaiis, who wiUi her obtained the kingdom of 
Sparta. 

§ 166. Castor and Pollux are mentioned here because of their 
kinship with Helen. They had, however, disappeared from earth 





2S2 



CLASSIC MYTHS fN ENGUSH LITESIATUR^:. 



before the Siege of Troy was undertaken. They arc famous for 
their fraternal affection. Endowed with various manly virtues. — 
Castor, a horse-tamer, Polhix, a boxer, — they made all expedi- 
tions in common. Togeiher, they joined the Calydonian hiuit. 
Together, they accompanied the Argonauts. During the voyage 
to Colchis it is said that, a storm arising, Orpheus prayed to the 
Samothracian gods, and played on his haqj, and that when the 
storm ceased, stars appeared on the heads of the brothers. Hence 
they came to be honored as patrons of voyagers. 

When Theseus and his friend PinlhoUs had carried off Helen 
from Sparta, the youthful heroes, Castor and Pollux, with their 
followers, hasted to her rescue. Theseus being absent from Attica. 
the brothers recovered iheir sister. Still later, we find Casior and 
Pollux engaged in a combat, with Idas and Lynceus of Messene, 
whose brides they had attempted to abduct. Castor was slajn ; 
but Pollux, inconsolable for the loss of his brother, besought Jupiter 
to be permitted lo give his own life as a ransom for him. Jupiter 
so far consented as to allow the two brothers to enjoy the boon of 
life alternately, each spending one day under the earth and the 
next in the heavenly abodes. According to another version, Jupi- 
ter rewarded the attachment of the brothers by placing them 
among the stars as Gemini, the Twins. They received heroic 
honors as the Tyndaridae (sons nf Tyndareus) ; divine honors 
they received under the name of Dioscuri (sons of Jove). 




.So like they were, no mortal 

Might one from ulhcr knuw; 
White as snow their armor was. 

Their steeds were white as snow. 
Never on earthly anvil 

Did such rare armor gleam. 
And never did such gallant steeds 

Drink of an earthly stream. 



m»m 



ifOUSES CONCERNED IN TffE TROJAN WAR, 



283 



. . . Back comes the chief in triamph 

Who in the hour of fight 
Hath seen the great Twin Brethren 

In harness on his right. 
Safe comes the ship to haven, 

Through billows and through gales 
If once the great Twin Urclhrcn 

Sit shining on the sails.* 

^ Macautay, Lays of Ancieni Rome. The Battle of Lake Regillus. 



JL^ 





284 CtASS/C AfYTHS AV ENGUSH UTERATURE, 



I 




CHAPTER XXV. 



THE TROJAN WAR. 




. . . At length I saw a lady within call. 
Stiller than chisellM marble, Manding there; 

A (laughter of the (luils, divinely tall, 
And moit divinely fair. 

Her lovcline*! with khame and with surprise 
Froze my swift speech : she turning on my &ce 

The star-like sutrons of iinmurtal eyes, 
Spoke slowly in her place. 



THE THOJAX WAR. 



2&5 



"I bad great beaut)*: ask thou not my name: 

No one can be more wise than destiny. 
Many drew swords and died. Where'er 1 came 

I brought calamity." * 

§ 167. Ita Origin. — At the nuptials of Peleus and Thetis all 
the gods had been invited with the exception of Eris, or Discord. 
Enraged at her exclusion, the goddess threw a golden apple among 
the guests, with the inscription, " For the fairest** Thereupon 
Juno, Venus, and Minerva each claimed the apple. Not willing 
to decide so delicate a matter, Jupiter sent the goddesses to Mount 
Ida, where Paris, son of Priain, king of Troy, was tending his 
flocks : and to him was rommiiied the judgment. The goddesses 
appeared before him. Juno promised him power and riches, 
Minerva glory and renown in war, Venus the fairest of women for 
his wife, — each attemj>iing to bias the judge in her own favor. 
Paris decided in favor of the last, thus making the two other god- 
desses his enemies. Umler the protection of the goddess of love, 
he soon afterwards sailed to Greece. Here, he was hospitably 
received by Menelatis, whose wife, Helen, as fairest of her sex, 
was unfortunately the prize destined for E^aris. This fair queen 
had in time past been sought by numerous suitors ; but before her 
decision was made known, ihey all, at the suggestion of Ulysses, 
son of Laertes, king of hhaia, had taken an oath that they would 
sustain herchoice and avenge her cause if necessary. She was 
living happily with Menelaiis wiien Paris becoming their guest made 
love to her ; and then, aided by Venus, persuaded her to elope 
with him, and carried her to Troy. From this cause arose the 
famous Trojan Wur, — the theme of the greatest poems of antiq- 
uity, those of Homer and Vergil. 

MeneJaus called upon the cbieftains of Greece to aid him in 
recovering his wife. They tame forward with a i^\i excej>- 
tions. Ulysses, for instance, who had married a cousin of 
Helen's, Penelope,* daughter of Icarius, was happy in his wife 
and child, and loth to embark in the troublesome affair. Pala- 



1 yrom Tennyson's Dream of Fair Women. 



)>73. 




286 



CLASS J C MYTHS IX ENGUSH UTERATVRB. 



medes was sent to urge him. But when Palamedes arrived ftt 
Ithaca, Ulysses pretended madness. He yoked an ass and an 
ox together to the plough, and began to sow salt. The am- 
bassador, to try him, placed the infant Tclemachus before the 
plough, whereu]>on the father turning the plough aside, showed 





that his insanity was a mere pretence. Being himself gained for the 
undertaking, Ulysses lent his aid to bring in other rehictajit chiefs, 
especially Achilles, son of Peleus and Thetis. Thetis being herself 
one of the immortals, and knowing that her son was fated to perish 
before Trny if he went on the expedition, endeavorerl to prevent hw 
going. She, accordingly, !»ent him to the court of King Lycomcdcs 




THE TJiOjAA h'AJi, 



2B7 



of the island of Sc^os, and induced him to conceal himself in the 
disguise of a maiden among the daughters of the king. Hearing 
that the young Achilles was there, Ulysses went disguised as a mer- 
chant to the palace^ and offered for sale female ornaments, among 
which had been place<l some arms. Forgetting the part he had as- 
sumed, Achilles handled the weapons, and thereby betrayed himself 
to Ulysses, who found no great diflrcuhy in persuading him to dis- 
regard his mother's counsels and join his countrymen in the war. 

It seems that from early yauth Paris had been reared in obscur- 
ity, because there were forebodings that he would be the ruin of the 
state. These forebodings apj>eared, at last, likely to be realized; 
for the Grecian armament now in prci>aration was the greatest that 
had ever been fitted out. .Agamemnon, king of Mycenae and 
brother of Menalatts, was chosen commander-in-chief. Pre-emi- 
nent among the warriors was the swift-footed Achilles. After hira 
ranked his cousin .Ajax, the son of Telamon, gigantic in size and of 
great courage, but dull of intellect ; Diomede, the son of Tydeus, 
second only to Achilles in all the qualities of a hero ; Ulysses, 
famous for sagacity; and Nestor, the oldest of the Grecian chiefs, 
— to whom they all looked up for counsel. 

But Troy was no feeble enemy, Priam the king, son of Laome- 
don and brother of Tithonus ami Hesione, was now old ; but he 
had been a wise prince, and had strengthened his state by good 
government at home and numerous alliances with his neighbors. 
By his wife Hecuba, he had a numerous family; but the prin- 
cipal stay and su[iport of his throne was his son Hector, one of 
the noblest figures of antiquity. He had, from the first, a 
presentiment of the niin of Troy, but still he persevered in he- 
roic resistance, though he by no means justified the wrong which 
brought this danger upon his country. He was united in mar- 
riage with the noble Andromache, and as husband and father 
his character was not less admirable than as warrior. 'ITie prin- 
cipal leaders on the side of the Trojans, beside Hector, were 
his relative, w^ncas, the son of Venus and Anchises, Deiphobus, 
Glaucus, and Sarpedon. 






Iphl^nia in AuUa. — After two years of preparation, the Greek 
fleet and army assembled in the port of Aulis in BoegUa. Here 
Agamemnon, while hunting, killed a stag that was sacred to Diana. 
The goddess in retribution visited the array with pestilence, and 
produced a calm which prevented the ships from leaving the port. 
Thereupon, Calchas the soothsayer announced that the wrath of 
the virgin goddess could only be appeased by the sacrifice of a 
virgin, and that none other but the daughter of the offender would 
be acceptable. Agamemnon, however reluctant, submitted to the 
inevitable, and sent for his daughter Iphigenia, under the pretence 
that her marriage to Achilles was to be at once performed. But, 
in the moment of sacrifice, Diana, relenting, snatched the maiden 
away and left a hind in her place. Iphigenia, enveloped in a 
cloud, was conveyed to Tauris, where Diana made her priestess of 
her temple.^ 

Iphigenia is represented as thus describing her feelings at the 
moment of sacrifice : — 

" I was cut oFf from hope in (hat sad place, 

Which yet to name my spirit loathes and fears; 
My father held his ham) upon his face; 
I, blinded by roy tears, 

" StQt strove to speak : my voice was thick with sighs, 
As in a dream. Dimly I could descry 
The stern black-bearded kings, with wolfish eyes. 
Waiting to see me die. 

"The high masts flickered as they lay afloat; . 

The crowds, the temples, wavered, and the shore;. 
The bright death quivered at the victim's throat; 
Touched; and I knew no more."' 




Protesilaiis and Laodamia. — The wind now proving fair, the 
fleet made sail and bronght the forces to the coast of Troy, The 
Trojans opposed their landing ; and at the first onset one of 



1 Euripides, Iphigenia at Aulis. Iphigenia among theTauri. 
* From Tennyson's Dream of Fair Women. 





THE TROJAN WAR, 



the noblest of the Greeks, Protesilalis, fell by the hand of Hector. 
This Protesilatis had left at home his wife Laodaraia (a niece of 
Alcestis), — wlio was most tenderly attached to him. The story 
runs that when the news of his death reached her, she implored 
the gods for leave to converse with him if but for three hours. 
The request was granted. Mercury led Protesilatis back to the 
upi)cr world ; and when the hero died a second time Liodamia 
died with him. It is said that the nymphs planted elm trees 
round his grave, which flourished till ihey were high enough to 
command a view of Troy, then withered away, giving place to 
fresh branches that sprang from the roots. 

Wordsworth has taken the story of Protesilatis and Laodamia 
for a poem invested with the atmosphere of the classics. The 
oracle, according to the tradition, had declared that victory should 
be the lot of that party from which should fall the first victim 
in the war. The poet represents the ProtesilaUs, on his brief re- 
turn to earth, relating to Laodanua the story of his fate : — 



"The wishcd-for wind was given; I then revolved 
The oracle upon the silent sea; 
And if no worthier let! the way, resolved 

That of a thousand vcssl-Is mine should be 
The foremtfrt prow in preising to the strand, — 
Mine the first blood that tinged the Trojan sand. 

" Yet biller, oft-times bitter was the pang 

When of thy loss I thought, beloved Wife! 

On thee too fondly did my memory hang. 
And on the joys we shared in mortal life, — 

The paths which wc had trod — these fountains, flowers; 

My new-planned cities and unfinished towers. 



But should suspense permit the foe to cry, 
' Behold they tremble I — haughty their array. 

Yet of their number no one dares to die?' 
In soul I swept the indignity away: 

Old frailties then recurred : — but lofty thought 

In act embodied, my delivemnce wrought" . . 





CLASSIC MYTHS TN EXGlISil LITERATURE, 

. . . UpoD the side 
Of Hellespont (such faith was entertained) 
A knot of spiry trees for ages grew 
From out the tnmb of him for wliom she died; 
And ever when such stature they had gained 
That Ilium's walls were subject tu their view. 
The trees' tall summits withered at the sight: 
A constant interchange of growth and blight! 



§ i68. Homer's Iliad.' — The war continued without decisive 
result for nine years. Then an event occurred which seemed 
likely lo prove fatal to the cause of the Greeks, — a quarrel be- 
tween Achilles and Agamemnon. It is at this point that the great 
poem of Homer, the Iliad, begins. 

The Wrath of Achilles. — The Greeks, though unsuccessful 
against Troy, liad taken the neighboring and allied cities ; and in 
the division of the spoil a female captive, by name Chryseis,, 
daughter of Chr)'ses, priest of Apollo, had fallen to the share of 
Agamemnon. Chryses came bearing the sacred emblems of his 
office, and begged the release of his daughter. Agamemnon 
refused. Thereupon Chryses implored Apollo to afflict the Greeks 
tiU'they should be forced lo yield their prey.* .\pollo granted the 
prayer of his priest, and sent such pestilence upon the Grecian 
camp, ihat a council was called to deliberate how to allay the wrath 
of the gods and avert the plague. Achilles boldly charged the mis- 
fortunes upon Agamemnon as caused by his withholding Chr>'seTs. 
.Agamemnon, in anger, consented, thereupon, to relinquish his cap- 
tive, but demanded that Achilles should yield to him in her stead 
BriseTs, a maiden who had fallen to that heroes share in the divi- 
sion of the spoil. Achilles subrattled, but declared that he would 
take no further part in the war, — withdrew his forces from the 
general camp, and avowed his intention of returning to Greece. 

The Enlistment of the Gods. — The gods and goddesses inter- 
ested themselves as much in this famous siege as did the parties 



1 For translations, see Commentary, \ ti. On Chapman's Homer, read the 
by Keats. > \ 76. 



THE TROJAN WAR. 



291 



themselves. It was well known in heaven thai fate had decreed 
the fall of Troy, if her ensmies only persevered. Yet there was 
room for chance sufficient to excite by turns the hopes and fears 
of the powers above who took part with either side. Juno and 
Minerva, in consequence of the slight put upon their charms by 




Paris, were hostile to the Trojans ; Venus for the opposite cause 
favored them ; she enlisted, also, her admirer Mars on the same 
side. Neptime favored the Greeks. Apollo was neutral, sometimes 
taking one side, sometimes the other. Jove himself, though he 
loved Priam, exercised a degree of impartiality, — not, however, 
without exceptions. 



292 



CLASSIC MYTHS IN ENGUSIf LITERATURE, 



Resenting the injury done by Agamemnon to her son, Thetis 
rcjiaired to Jove's palace and besought him to -grant success to 
the Trojan arms and so make ihc Greeks repent of their injustice 
to Achilles. Jupiter consented ; and in the battle which ensued 
the Trojans were completely successfuL The Greeks were driven 
from the field and took refuge in their ships. 

Then Agamemnon, king of men, called a council of his wisest 
and bravest chiefs. In the debate that ensued, Nestor advised 
that an embassy should be sent to Achilles persuading him to 
return to the field ; and that Agamemnon should yield the maiden, 
the cause of dispute, with ample gifts to atone for the wrong he 
had done, Agamemnon assented ; and Ulysses, Ajax, and Phoenix 
were sent to carry to Achilles the penitent message. They per- 
formed that duty, but Achilles was deaf to their entreaties. He 
positively refused to return to the attack, and i>ersisted in his 
determination to embark for Greece without delay. 

Meanwhile the Greeks having constructed a rampart around 

their ships, were now, instead of 
besieging Troy, in a manner 
themselves besieged, within their 
rampart. The next day after 
the unsuccessful embassy to 
Achilles, another battle was 
fought, after which the 'I'rojans, 
favored by Jove, succeeded in 
forcing a passage *hrough the 
Grecian rampart, and were about 
to set fire to the ships. But Nep- 
tune, seeing the Greeks hard 
pressed, came to their rescue. 
Appearing in the form of Cal- 
chas the prophet, he raised the 
ardor of the warriors to such a pitch that they forced the Trojans 
to give way. Here Ajax, son of Telamon, performed prodigies of 
valor. Bearing his massy shield, and "shaking his far shadowing 





THE TROJAiW WAR. 



293 



spear," he encountered Hector.' The Greek shouted defiance, to 
which Hector replied, and hurled his lance at the huge warrior. 
It was well aimed and struck Ajax where the belts that bore his 
sword and shield crossed each other on the breast, but the double 
guard prevented its penetrating, and it fell harmless. Then Ajax 
seizing a huge stone, one of those that ser\'ed to prop the ships, 
hurled it at Hector. It struck hira near the neck and stretched 
him on the plain. His followers instantly seized him and bore hira 
off stunned and wounded. 

While Neptune was thus aiding the Greeks and driving back 
the Trojans, Jupiter saw nothing of what was going on, for his 
attention had been drawn from the field by the tviles of Juno. 
That goddess had arrayed herself in all her charms, and to crown 
all had borrowed of Venus her girdle, the Cestus, which enhanced 
the wearer's charms to such a degree that they were irresist- 
ible. So prepared, Juno had joined her husband, who sat on 
Olympus watching the battle. When he beheld her, the fondness 
of his early love revived, and forgetting the contending armies 
and all other affairs of state, he gave himself up to her nnd let 
the battle go as it would. 

But this oblivion did not continue long. When, uijon turning 
his eyes downward, the rloud-competler beheld Hector stretched, 
almost lifeless, on the plain, he angrily dismissed Juno, command- 
ing her to send Iris and Apol!o to him. The former bore a per- 
emptory message to Neptime, ordering him to quit the contest. 
Apollo was despatched to heal Hector's bruises and to inspirit his 
heart. These orders were obeyed with such speed that while the 
battle was still raging, Hector returned to the field, and Neptune 
betook himself to his own dominions. 

Achillea and Patroclua. — An arrow from the bow of Paris 
wounded Machnon, son of jfeculapius, a brave warrior, who, 
having inherited his father*s art, was of great value to the Greeks 



I The pasMge which precedes the first conflict between these heroes, describing 
the forewell of Hecior lo Andromache his wife and Aslyanax his son. is ihe most 
delicate and pathetic In the Iliad (6: 370-500). 



294 



CL.-4SS/C Mrr/ZS in ENGUSH UTEHATVRtU 



as their surgeon. Nestor, taking Machaon in his chariot, con- 
veyed him from the field. As they passed the ships of Achilles^ 
that hero, looking over the Kittle, saw the chariot of Nestor, 
and recognized the old chief, but could not discern who the 
wounded warrior was. Calling PalXQcluSj his companion and 
dearest friend^ he sent him to Nestor's tent to inquire. Patro- 
clus, performing the behest, saw Machaon wounded, and having 
told the cause of his coming would have hastened away, but 
Nestor detained him^ to tell him the extent of the Grecian 
calamities. He reminded him also how, at the time of the de- 
parture for Troy, Achilles and himself had been charged by their 
respective sires : the one to aspire to the highest pitch of glory; 
the other, as the elder, to keep watch over his friend, and to guide 
his inexperience. " Now," said Nestor, " is the time for such 
guidance. If the gods so please, thou mayest win Achilles back to 
the common cause ; but if not, let him at least send his soldiers 
to the field, and come thou, Patroclus, clad in his armor. Perhaps 
the very sight of it may drive back the Trojans." 

PatrocIuB in the Armor of Achillea. — Patroclus, strongly 
moved by this address, hastened to his friend, revolving in his 
mind what he had seen and heard. He told the prince the sad 
condition of affairs at the camp of their late associates ; Diomede, 
Ulysses, Agamemnon, Machaon, all wounded, the rampart broken 
down, the enemy among the ships preparing to burn them, and 
thus to cut off alt means of return to Greece. While they spoke, 
the flames burst forth from one of the ships. Achilles, at the sight, 
relented so far as to entnist Patroclus with the Myrmidons fur the 
onslaught, and to lend him his armor that he might thereby 
strike the more terror into the minds of the Trojans. Without 
delay the soldiers were inarsli.illed, Patroclus put on the radiant 
armor, mounted the chariot of Achilles, and led forth the men 
ardent for battle. But before his friend went, .Achilles strictly 
charged him to be content with repelling the foe. "Seek 
not," said he, " to press the Trojans without me, lest thou 
add still more to the disgrace already mine." Then exhorting 




THE TROJAN WAR. 



295 



the troops to do their best^ he dismissed them full of ardor to 
the fight. 

Patrocius and his Myrmidons at once plunged into the contest 
where it raged hottest ; at the sight of them the joyful Grecians 
shouted, and the ships re-echoed the acclaim ; but the Trojans, 
beholding the well-known armor, struck with terror, looked 
everywhere for refuge. Kirst those who had got possession of 
the ship and set it on fire allowed the Grecians to retake it and 
extinguish the flames. Then the rest fled in dismay. Ajax, 
MenelaUs, and the two sons of Nestor performed prodigies of 
valor. Hector was forced to turn his horses' heads and retire 
from the enclosure, leaving his men encumbered in the fosse to 
escape as they could. Pairoclus drove all before him, slaying 
many ; nor did one dare to make a stand against him. 

The Death of Sarpedon. — At last the grandson of Bellerophon, 
Sarpcdon, son of jove and I^aodamia, ventured to oppose the 
Greek warrior. The Olympian looked down upon his son, and 
would have snatched hira from the fate impending, but Juno 
hinted that if he did so the other inhabitants of heaven might be 
induced to interpose in like manner whenever any of their offspring 
were endangered ; an argument to which Jove yielded. Sarpedon 
threw his spear, but missed Patrocius ; the spear of the Greek, on 
the other hand, pierced Sarpedon's breast, — and he fell, calling to 
his friends to save his body from the foe. Then a furious contest 
arose for the corpse. The Greeks succeeded in stripping Sarpedon 
of his armor ; but Jove would not suffer the body to be dishonored. 
Ky his command Apnllo snatched it from the midst of the com- 
batants and committed it to the care of the twin brothers Death 
and Sleep. By them it was transported to Lycia, Sarpedon*s 
native land, and there received due funeral rites. 

Thus far Patrorlus had succeeded to the utmost in repelling the 
foe and relieving his countrymen, but now came a change of 
fortune. Hector, borne in his chariot, confronted him. Patrocius 
threw a vast stone at the Trojan, which missed its aim, but smote 
Cebriones, the charioteer, and felled him from the cnr. Hector 





296 



CLASSIC MYTHS AV ENGUSH UTERATURE. 



leaped frum the chariot to rescue his friend, and Patroclus also 
descended to complete his victory. Thus the two heroes met 
face to face. At this decisive moment the poet, as if reluctant to 
give Hector the glory, records that Phoebus Apollo, taking part 
against Patroclus, struck the helmet from his head and the lance 
from his hand. At the same moment an obscure Trojan woundeil 
him in the back, and Hector pressing forward pierced him with 
his spear. He fell mortally wounded. 

Then arose a tremendous conflict for the body of Patroclus ; 
])iit his armor was at once taken possession of by Hector, who, 
retiring a short distance, divested himself of his own mail, put on 
that of Achilles, then returned to the fight. .Ajax and MenelaQs 
defended the body, anil Hector and his bravest warriors struggled 
to capture it. The battle still raged with equal fortune, when 
Jove enveloped ihe whole face of heaven in a cloud. The light- 
ning flashed, the thunder roared, and .Ajax. looking round for 
some one whom he might despatch to Achilles to tell him of the 
death of his friend and of the imminent danger of his remains 
falling into the hands of the enemy, could see no suitable messen- 
ger. In desperation, he exclaimed : — 



" Father uf heaven antl earth ! deliver thoa 
Ach^'ji host frum darkness; dear the skies: 
Give (lay; ami. since thy sovereign uilt i» such, 
Destruction with it; but, oh, give us day!"* 

Jupiter heard the prayer and dispersed the clouds. Ajax sent 
Aniilochus to Achilles with the intelUgence of Patroclus' death, 
and of the conflict raging for his remains; and the Greeks at last 
succeeded in bearing oflT the body lo the ships, closely pursued 
by Hector and -4*!neas and the rest of the Trojans. 

The Remorse of Achilles. — Achilles heard the fate of his friend 
with such distress that Aniilochus feared for a while lest he might 
destroy himself. His groans reached the ears of Thetis, far down 
in the deeps of ocean where she abode, and she hastened to inquire 

1 Cowper'ft translAtion. The lines are olien quoted. 





THE TROJAN WAR. 297 

the cause. She found him averwhelmed with self-reproach that 
he had sufTered his friend to fall a victim to his resentment. His 
only consolation was the hope of revenge. He would fly instantly 
in search of Hector. But his mother reminded him that he was 
now without armor, and promised, if he would Uui wait (ill the 
morrow, to procure for him a suit of armor from Vulcan more 
than equal to that he had lost. He consented, and Thetis imme- 
diately repaired to Vulcan's palace. She foun'd him busy at his 
forge, making tripods for his own nse, so artfully constructed that 
they moved forward of their own accord when wanted, and retired 
again when dismissed. On hearing the request of Thetis, Vulcan 
immediately laid aside his work and hastened to comply with her 
wishes. He fabricated a splendid suit of armor for Achilles ; first 
a shield adorned with elaborate devices, then a helmet crested 
with gold, then a corselet and greaves of impenetrable temper, all 
perfectly adapted to the hero's form, and of consummate work- 
manship. The suit was made in one night ; and Thetis, receiving 
it. descended to earth and laid it at Achilles' feet at the dawn of 
day. 

The Reconciliation of Agamemnon and Achillea. — The first 
glow of pleasure that Achilles had fell since the death of Patro- 
clus was at the sight of this splendid armor. And now arrayed 
in it, he went forth to the camp, calling the chiefs to council. 
When the leaders were assembled, Achilles addressed them. 
Renouncing his displeasure against Agamemnon and bitterly 
lamenting the miseries that had resulted from it, he called on 
them to proceed at once to the field. Agamemnon made a 
suitable reply, laying ihe blame on Ate, the goddess of infatua- 
tion ; and thereupon complete reconcilement took place between 
the heroe<;. 

Then Achilles went forth to battle, inspired with a rage and 
thirst for vengeance that made him irresistible. The bravest war- 
riors fled before him, or fell by his Sance. Hector, cautioned by 
Apollo, kept aloof; but the god, assuming the form of one of 





298 



CLASSIC AfYTfiS IN ENGLISH LITERATVUE. 



Priam's sons, Lycaon, urged i^neas lo encounter the terrible war- 
rior. iEneas, though he felt himself unequal, did not decline the 
combat. He burled his spear with all his force against the shield, 
the work of Vulcan. The spear pierced two plates of the shield, 
but was stopped in the third. Achilles threw his spear with better 
success. It pierced through the shield of -tineas, but glanced 
near his shoulder and made no wound. Then ^neas, seizing a 
stone, such as two men of modem times could hardly X\% was 
about lo throw it, — and Achilles, with sword drawn, was about to 
rush upon hun, — when Neptune, looking out upon the contest, had 
pity upon -'Eneas, who was sure to have the worst of it. The god, 
consequently, spread a cloud heiween the combatants, and lifting 
the Trojan from the ground, bore him over the heads of warriors 
and steeds to the rear of the battle. Achilles, when the mist 
cleared away, looked round in vain for his adversary, and acknowl- 
edging the prodigy, turned his arms against other champions. 
But none dared stand before him ; and Priam from his city walls 
beheld the whole army in full Hight toward the city. He gave 
command to open wide the gates to receive the fugitives, and to 
shut them as soon as the Trojans should have passed, lest the 
enemy should enter likewise. But Achilles was so close in pursuit 
that thai would have been impossible if Apollo had not, in the 
form of .^genor, Priam's son, first encountered the swift-footed 
hero, then turned in flight, and taken the way apart from the city. 
Achilles pursued, and had chased his supposed victim far from 
the walls before the god disclosed himself. 

' The Fall of Hector. — But when the rest had escaped into the 
town Hector stood without determined to await the combat. His 
father called to him from the walls, begging him to retire nor 
tempt the cncotiiucr. His mother, Hecuba, also besought him, 
but all in vain. " How can I," said he to himself, " by whose 
command the people went to this day's contest where so many 
have fallen, seek refuge for myself from a single foe? Or shall 
I offer to yield up Helen and all her treasures and ample of our 
own beside? Ah no! even that is too late. He would not 





THE TROJAN WAR, 



hear me through, but slay me while I spoke." AVhile he thus 
ruminated, Achilles approached, terrible as Mars, his armor flash- 
ing lightning as he moved. At that sight Hector's heart failed 
him and he fled. Achilles swiftly pursued. They ran, still keeping 
near the walls, till they had thrice encircled the city. As often as 
Hector approached the walls Achilles intercepted him and forced 
him to keep out in a wider circle. But Apollo sustained Hector's 
strength and would not let him sink in weariness. Then Pallas 
assuming the form of Deiphobus, Hector's bravest brother, ap- 
peared suddenly at his side. Hector saw him with delight, 
and thus strengthened, stopped his flight and, turning to meet 
.Achilles, threw his spear. It struck the shield of Achilles and 
bounded back. He turned to receive another from the hand of 
Deiphobus, but Deiphobus was gone, llien Hector understood 
his doom and said, " Alas ! it is plain this is my hour to die 1 I 
thought Deiphobus at hand, but Pallas deceived me, and he is 
still in Troy. But I will not fall inglorious." So saying he drew 
his falchion from his side and nished at once to combat. Achilles 
secure behind his shield waited the approach of Hector. When 
he came wiihin reach of his spear, Achilles choosing with his eye 
a vulnerable part where the armor leaves the neck uncovered, 
aimed his spear at that part, and Hector fell, death-wounded. 
FeeUy he said, " Spare my body ! Let my parents ransom it, and 
let me receive funeral rites from the sons and daughters of Troy." 
To which Achilles replied, " Dog, name not ransom nor pity to 
me, on whom you have brought such dire distress. No ! trust 
me, nought shall save thy carcass from the dogs. Though twenty 
ransoms and thy weight in gold were offered, I should refuse it all." 
Achilles drags the Body of Hector. — So saying the son of Peleus 
stripped the body of its armor, and, fastening cords to the feet, tied 
them behind his chariot, leaving the l>ody to trail along the ground. 
Then mounting the chariot he lashed the steeds and so dragged 
the body to and fro before the city. No words can tell the grief 
of Priam and Hepuba at this sight. His people could scarce 
restrain the aged king from rushing forth. He threw himself in 



300 



C/^-tSS/C MYTIiS IN ENGLISH UTERATVRE, 



the dust and besought thera each by name to let him pass. He- 
cuba's distress was not less violent The citizens stood round 
them weeping. The sound of the mourning reached the ears of 
Andromache, the wife of Hector, as she sal among her maidens at 
work ; and anticipating evil she went forth to the wall. When she 
saw the horror there presented, she would have thrown herself 
headlong from (he wall, but fainted and fell into the arms of her 
maidens. Recovering, she bewailed her fate, picturing to herself 
her country mined, herself a captive, and her son, the youthful 
Astyanax, dei>endent for his bread on the charity of strangers. 

After Achilles and the Greeks had thus taken their revenge on the 
slayer of Patroclus they busied themselves in paying due funeral 
riles to their friend. A pile was erected, and the body burned 
with due solemnity. Then ensued games of strength and skill, 
chariot races, wrestling, boxing, and archery. Later, the chiefs 
sat down to the funeral banquet, and finally retired to rest. Bui 
AchiHes partook neither of the feast nor of sleep. The recollec- 
tion of his lost friend kept him awake, — the memory of their com'- 
panionship in toil and dangers, in battle or on the perilous deep. 
Before the earliest dawn he left his tent, and joining to his chariot 
his swift steeds, he fastened Hector's body to be dragged behind. 
Twice he dragged him round the tomb of I'atroclus, leaving him 
at length stretched in the dust. But Apollo would not permit the 
body to be torn or disfigured with all this abuse ; he preser\'ed it 
free from taint or defilement. 

While Achilles indulged his wrath in thus <lisgracing Hector, 

Jupiter in pity summoned Thetis to his presence. Bidding her 

prevail on Achilles to restore the body of Hector to the Trojans, 

he sent Iris to encourage Priam to beg of Achilles the body 

of his son. Iris delivered her message, and Friam prepared 

B to obey. He opened his treasuries and took oat rich garments 

H and cloths, with ten talents in gold and two splendid tripods and a 

H golden cup of matchless workmanship. Then he called to his sons 

^B and bade them draw forth his litter and place in it the various 

^B articles designed for a ransom to Achilles. When all was ready, 




iHH TROJAN WAR. 



the old king with a single companion as aged as himself, the herald 
IdaEus, drove forth from the gates, |3arting there with Hecuba his 
queen, and all his friends, who lamented him as going to certain 
death. 

Priam in the Tent of Achilles. — Hut Jupiter, beholding with 
compassion the venerable king, sent Mercury to be his guide and 
protector. Assuming the form of a young warrior, Mercury 
presented himself to the aged cuuple ; and, when ai the sight of 
him they hesitated whether to fly or yield, approaching he grasped 
Priam's hand, and offered to be their guide to Achilles' tent. 
Priam gladly accepted his service, and Mercury, mounting the 




carriage, assumed the reins and conveyed them to the camp* 
Then having cast the guards into a heavy sleep, he introduced 
Priam into the tent where Achilles sat, attended by two of his 
warriors. The aged king threw himself at the feet of Achilles 
and kissed those terrible hands which had destroyed so many 
of his sons. ''Think, O Achilles," he said, " of thine own father, 
full of daj-s hke me, and trembling on the gloomy verge of life. 
Even now, mayhap, some neighbor chief oppresses him and there 
is none at hand to succor him in his distress. Yet, knowing 
that Achilles lives, he doubtless still rejoices, hoping that one day 
he shall see thy face again. But me no comfort cheers, whose 
bravest sons, so late the flower of Ilium, all have fallen. Yet 
one I had, one more than all the rest the strength of my age, 




302 



CLASSIC MYTHS W BNCUSh UTtRATORE, 




whom fighting for his country thou hast slain. His body I cooae to 
redeem, bnnging inestimable ransom with me. Achilles 1 rever- 
ence the gods 1 recollect thy father ! for his sake show compassion 
to mel" These words moved Achilles, and he wept; remem- 
bering by turns his absent father and his lost friend. Moved with 
pity of Priam's silver locks and beard, he raised him from the 
earth and spake : ** I'riam, I know that thou hast reached this 
place conducted by some god, for without aid divine no mortal 
even in his prime of youth had dared the attempt. I grant thy re- 
quest, for 1 am moved thereto by the manifest will of Jove." So 
saying he arose, went forth with his two friends, and unloaded of its 
charge the litter, leaving two mantles and a robe for the covering 
of the body. This they placed on the litter, and spread the 
garments over it, that not unveiled il should be borne back to 
Troy. Then Achilles dismissed the old king, having first pledged 
himself to a truce of twelve days for the fimeral solemnities. 

As the litter approached the city and was descried from the 
walls, the people poured forth to gaze once more on the face of 
their hero. Foremost of all, the mother and the wife of Hector 
came, and at the sight of the lifeless body renewed their lamenta- 
tions. The people wept with them, and to the going down of the 
sun there was no pause or abatement of their grief. 

The next day, preparations were made for the funeral solemni- 
ties. For nine days the people brought wood and built the pile ; 
and on the tenth they placed the body on the summit, and applied 
the torch, while all Troy thronging forth encompassed the pyre. 
When it had completely burned, they quenched the cinders with 
wine, and, collecting the bones, placed them in a golden urn, which 
they buried in the earth. Over the spot they reared a pile of 
Btones. 

** Such honors Ilium to her hero p«id, 
And peaceful slept the mighty (lector's shade.*' ^ 

> pope's translation of the Iliad. 



THE FALL OF TROY. 



303 



CHAPTER XXVI. 



THE FALL OF TROY. 




§ 169. The Fall of Troy. — The story of the Iliad ends with 
the death of Hector, and it is from the Odyssey and later poems 
that we learn the fate of the other heroes. After the death of 
Hector, Troy did not immediately fall, but receiving aid from 
new allies still continued its resistance. 
One of these alUes was Metnnon, the -4i^thi- 
opian prince, whose story has been already 
told.' Another was Penthesilca, queen of 
the Amazons, who came with a band of 
female warriors. All the authori- 
ties attest the valor of these 
women and the fearful eflect of 
their war cry. Penthesilea, having 
slain many of the bravest (Ireeks, 
was at last slain by Achilles. But 
when the hero bent over his 
fallen foe, and contemplated her 
beauty, youth, and valor, he bit- 
terly regretted his victory-. Ther- 
aites, an insolent brawler and demagogue, attempting to ridicule 
his grief, was jn consequence slain by the hero.* 

The Death of Achilles. — But Achilles, himself, was not destined 
to a long life. Having by chance seen Polyxena, daughter of 
King Priam — perhaps on occasion of the truce which was al- 
lowed the Trojans for the burial of Hector — he was captivated 
with her charms ; and to win her in marriage, it is said (but not 




Mils. 



* Pausanios v. xi. { 2; and Sophocles. Phitocieti^, 445. 



304 



CLASSIC MYTHS m ENCUS/f UTEfiATVRE- 



by Homer), that he agreed lo influence the Greeks to make peace 
with Troy. While the hero was in the temple of Apollo, nego- 
tiating the marriage, Paris discharged at him a poisoned arrow^* 
which, guided by Apollo, fatally wounded him in the heel. This 
was his only vulnerable spot ; for Thetis having dipjied him when 
an infant in the river Styx, had rendered every part of him invul- 
neral)le except that by which she held him.* 

Contest for the Arms of Achilles. — The body of Achilles so 
treacherously slain was rescued by Ajax and Ulysses. Thetis 
directed the Greeks to bestow her son's armor on that hero who 
of all the survivors should be judged most deserving of it. Ajax 
and Ulysses were the only claimants. A select number of the 
other chiefs were appointed lo award the prize. It was awarded 
to Ulysses. Wisdom thus was rated above valor \ wherefore Ajax 
slew himself.^ On the spot where his blood sank into the earth a 
hyacinth sprang up, bearing on its leaves the first two letters of 
'his name, Ai, the Greek interjection of woe.* 

It was now discovered that Troy could not be taken but by the 
aid of the arrows of Hercules. They were in possession of Philoc- 
tetes, the friend who had been with Hercules at the last, and had 
lighted his funeral pyre. Philoctetes* had joined the Grecian expe- 
dition against Troy ; but having accidentally wounded his foot with 
one of the poisoned arrows, the smell from the wound proved so 
offensive that his companions carried him to the isle of Ix:ronos, 
and left him there. Diomede and Ulysses, or Ulysses and Neop- 
tolemus (son of Achilles) were now sent to induce him to rejoin 
the army. They succeeded. Philoctetes was cured of his wound 
by Machaon, and Paris was the first victim of the fatal arrows. 

PoriB and <Enone. — In his distress Paris bethought him of one 
whom in his prosperity he had forgotten. This was the nymph 
CEnone, whom he had married when a youth, and had abandoned 

1 Vergil. .1*:neid 6: 57. « Sophocles, Ajax. 

* Stattui, Achilleid i ; 269. < See Comroentftry, 

8 Scrvius Honoralus, Cominenlary on ^Enefd (3 * 402). According lo Sophoclrs 
(Philoctcte«), ihe wound was occasioned by the bite of a serpent that guarded ibe 
vbrine of (he nymph Chryse. on an islet of the same name, near Lemnos. 




THE FALL OF TROY. 



305 



for the fatal beauty of Helen. CEnone, remembering the wrongs 
she had suffered, refused to heal the wound ; and Paris went back 
to Troy and died. (Jinone quickly repented, and hastened after 
him with remedies, but came too 
late, and in her grief hanged herself. 

The Palladium. — There was in 
Troy a celebrated statue of Mi- 
nerva called the Palladium. It was 
said to have fallen from heaven, 
and the belief was that the city 
could not be taken so long a^ this 
statue remained within it. Ulysses 
and Diomede entered the city in 
disguise, and succeeded in obtain- 
ing the Palladium, which they car- 
ried off to the Grecian camp. 

The Wooden Horae. — But Troy 
stili held out. The Greeks began 
to despair of subduing it by force, 
and by advice of Ulysses they 
resorted to stratagem.^ They pre- 
tended to be making preparations 

to abandon the siege ; and a number of the ships were with- 
drawn and concealed behind a neighboring island. They then 
constructed an immense wooden horse, which they gave out 
was intended as a propitiatory offering to Miner\a ; but it was, 
in fact, filled with armed men. The rest of the tireeks then 
betook themselves to their ships and sailed away, as if for a final 
departure. The Trojans, seeing the enc.impment broken up and 
the fleet gone, concluded that the enemy hml abandoned the siege. 
The gates of the city were thrown open, and the whole population 
issued forth, rejoicing at the long-prohibited liberty of passing freely 
over the scene of the late encampment. The great horse was the 
chief object of curiosity. Some recommended that it be taken into 

1 Vergil, iEncid. Bk. a. 







the city as a trophy ; others felt afraid of it. While they hesitated, 
Laocoon, the priest of Neptune, exclaimed, " What madness, citi- 
zens, is this I Have you not learned enough of Grecian fraud to 
be on your guard against it? For my part, I fear the Greeks even 



) 



^1*. 



I 




LAOCOON On the Vatiotni. 




i 




they offer gifts."* So saying, he threw his lance at the 
horse's side. It struck, and a hollow sound reverberated like a 
groan. Then perhaps the people might have taken his advice and 
destroyed the fatal horse with its contents, but just at that moment 
a group of ()eople appeared dragging forward one who seemed 
a prisoner and a Greek. Stupefied with terror, the captive was 
brought before the chiefs, who reassured him, promising him that 
his life should be spared on condition of his answering truly the 
questions asked him. He informed them that he was a Greek, 
Sinon by name ; and that in consequence of the malice of Ulysses, 
he had been left behind by his countrymen at their departure. 
With regard to the wooden horse» he told them that it was a pro- 
pitiatory offering to Miner\'a, and made so huge for the express 
purpose of preventing its being carried within the city; for Cal- 
chas the prophet had told ihem that if the Trojans took possession 
of it, ihey would assuredly triumph over the Greeks. 

Laocoon and the Serpents.- — This language turned the tide ol 
the peopk''s feelings; and they began to think how they might 
best secure the monstrous horse and the favorable auguries con- 
nected with it, when suddenly a prodigy occurred which left no 
room to doubt. There appeared advancing over the sea two im- 
mense serpents. They came upon the land, and the crowd fied 
in all directions. The serpents advanced directly to the spot 
where Laocoon stood with his two sons. They first attacked the 
children, winding round their bodies and breathing their pestilen- 
tial breath in their faces. The father, attempting to rescue thera^ 
■ is next seized and involved in the serpent's coils. 



I 

I 
I 



. . . Vain 
The struggle: vain, against the coiling strain 
And gripe, and deepening of the dragon's grasp, 
The old man's clinch; the long envenomed chain 
Rivets the living links, — the enormous asp 
Enforces pang on pang, and stifles gasp on gasp.' 

^ Timeo Danaos ci dona ferentes. — /£«. 3:49. 
s Byron's Ctiilde Harold. 




30S CLASSIC AFYT//S LV E.VGLISH UTERATURE. 

He struggles to tear them away, but they overpower all his 
e/TortSj and strangle him and the children in their poisonous folds. 
The event was regarded as a clear indication of the displeasure 
of the gods at Laocoon's irreverent treatment of the wooden horse, 
which they no longer hesitated to regard as a sacred object, and 
prepared to introduce with due solemnity into the city. Tliey did 
so with songs and triumphal acclamations, and the day closed 
with festivity. In the night the armed men who were enclosed in 
the body of the horse, being let out by the traitor Sinon, opened 
the gales of the city to their friends who had returned under cover 
of the night. The city was set on fire ; the people, overcome 
with feasting and sleep, were put to the sword, and Troy com- 
pletely subdued. 

The Death of Priam. — Priam lived to see the downfall of 
his kingdom, and was slain at last on the fatal night when the 
Greeks took the city. He had armed himself, and was about to 
mingle with the combatants,' but was prevailed on by Hecuba to 
take refuge with herself and his daughters as a suppliant at the 
altar of Jupiter. While there, his youngest son, Polites, pursued 
by P)Trhus, the son of Achilles, nished in wounded, and expired 
at the feet of his father; whereupon Priam, overcome with indig- 
nation, hurled his spear with feeble hand against Pyrrhus, and was 
forthwith slain hy him. 

§ 170. The Survivors.'^ — Queen Hecuba and her daughter 
Cassandra were carried captives to Greece. Cassandra had been 
loved by Apollo, who gave her the gift of prophecy ; but after- 
wards oflended with her, he had rendered the gift unavailing by 
ordaining that her predictions should never be believed. Polyxena, 
another daughter, who had been loved by Achilles, was demanded 
by the ghost of that warrior, and was sacrificed by the Greeks 
upon his tomb. 

1 Hecuba's exclamation, " Not Buch aid nor such defenders does the time 
require," has become proverbial, 

Non tall auxillo ncc rlcfcn&orlbus istis 

Trmpus cgnt. — j^n. 3:531. 
* Kurtpides, — TroiuJes, Hecuba, Andromache. 



THE FALL OF TROY, 



309 



Helen and Menelaiia. — On the fall of Troy, Menelatis recovert-'cl 
possession of his wife, who, it seems, had not ceased lo love him, 
though she had yielded to the might of Venus and deserted him 
for another.* After the death of Paris, she aided the Greeks 
secretly on several occasions: in particular when Ulysses and Die- 
mede entered the city in disguise to carry off the Palladium. She, 
then, saw and recognized Ulysses, but kept the secret, and even 
assisted them in obtaining the image. Thus she became recon- 
ciled to Menelaiis. and they were among the first to leave the 
shores of 'I'roy for their native land. Rnt having incurred the 
displeasure of the gods they were driven by storms from shore lo 
shore of the Mediterranean, visiting Cyprus, Phomicia, and Egypt. 
In Kgypt they were kindly treated and presented with rich gifts, 
of which Helen's share was a golden spindle, and a basket on 

wheels. 

"... many yet adhere 
To !hc ancient distafT at the bosom fixei!, 
Casting the whirling spindle as they walk. 
. . . This was of olrl, in no inglorious da;-a, 
The mode of spinning, when the K^ptian prince 
A golden distaff gave thnt beauteous nymph, 
Too beaaleous Helen; no uncourtly gift."* 

Milton also alludes to a famous recipe for an invigorating draught, 
called Nepenthe, which the Egyptian queen gave to Helen : — 

"Not that Nepenthes which the wife of Thone 
In Egypt gave to Jove-born Helena, 
Is of such power to stir ap joy as this, 
To life so friendly or so cool to thirst."* 

At last, arriving in safety at Sparta, Menelatis and Helen re- 
sumed their royal dignity, and lived and reigned in splendor ; and 
when Telemachus, the son of Ulysses, in search of his father, 
arrived at Sparta, he found them celebrating the marriage of 
their daughter Hermione to Neoptolemus, son of Achilles. 



1 According to Euripides (Helenl, .ind Siesichorus, ii was a semblance of 
Helen that Paris won: the real Helen went to Egypt. 

* Dyer, The Fleece. > Milion. Comus. 





310 



CLASSIC AfYTHS /.V E,VGl/S// UTERATVRIL, 



Agamemnon^ was not so fortiinaie in the issue. During his 
absence his wife Clytem pest ra had been false to him ; and when 
his return was expected, she with her paramour, ^^gisthus, son of 
Thjfesies, laid a plan for his destruction. Cassandra warned the 
king, but as usual her prophecy was not regarded. While Aga- 
memnon was bathing previous to the banquet given to celebrate 
his return, the conspirators murdered him. 

Electra and Orestes. — It was the intention of the conspirators to 
slay his son Orestes also, a lad not yet old enough to be an object 
of apprehension, but from whom, if he should be suffered to grow 
up, there might be danger. Elecira, the sister of Orestes, saved 
her brother's life by sending him secretly to his uncle Strophius, 
king of Phocis. In the palace of Strophius, Orestes grew up with 
the king's ^n Pylades, and formed with him a friendship which 
has become proverbial. lilectra frequently reminded her brother 
by messengers of the duty of avenging his father's death ; he, 
too, when he reached maturity, consulted the oracle of Delphi, 
which confirmed him in the design. He therefore repaired in 
disguise to Argos, pretending to be a messenger from Strophius, 
who would announce the death of Orestes. He brought with 
him what purported to be the ashes of the deceased in a funeral 
um. After visiting his father's tomb and sacrificing upon it, 
according to the rites of the ancients, he met by the way his 
sister Electra. Mistaking her for one of the domestics, and de- 
sirous of keeping his arrival a secret till the hour of vengeance 
should arrive, he produced the urn. At once, his sister, believ- 
ing Orestes to be really dead, took the urn from him, and em- 
bracing it poured forth her grief in language full of tenderness 
and despair. Soon a recognition was effected, and the prince 
with the aid of his sister slew both ./Egisthus and Clytemnestra.' 

Orestes pursued by the Furies.' — This revolting act, the slaugh- 
ter of a mother by her son, though extenuated by the guilt of the 



* ^schylui, Agamemnon. 

>i£schylus,Chotiphori; Sophocles. Electra; Euripides. — Electra, Orestes. 

■ iEichylus, Eumenides. 




THE FALL OF TROY. 



311 



victim and the express command of the gods, did not fail to 
awaken in the breasts of the ancients the same al)horrence that 
it does in ours. The 
Eumenides seized 
upoiT'OresteSj and 
drove him frantic 
from land to land. 
In these wander- 
ings Pylades accom- 
panied "Tiim, and 
watched over him. 
At length in answer ^^^-^^^c 
to a second appeal 
to the oracle, Orestes was directed to go to Taviris in Scythia, and 
to bring thence a statue of Diana which was beheved to have 
fallen from heaven. Accordingly the friends went to Tauris. 
Since there the barbarous people were accustomed to sacri- 
fice to the goddess all strangers who fell into iheir hands, 



the two friends were seized and carried bound to the temple to 
be made victims. Uut the priestess of Diana in Tauris was no 



312 



CLASSIC Afyr//s m engush literature. 



other than Iphigenia, the sister of Orestes, who had been snatche 
away by Diana, at the moment when she was about to be sacn 
ficed. Ascertaining from the prisoners who they were, IphigenL 
disclosed herself to them ; and the three made their escape witt 
the statue of ihe goddess, and returned to Mycense.* 

His Purification. — But Orestes was not yet relieved from the 
vengeance of the Krin^. Finally, he look refuge with MinervA 
at Athens. The goildess afforded him protection, and appointed 
the court of Areopagus to decide his fate. The Krinyes brought 
their accusalionT^nd Orestes pleaded the command of the Del- 
phic oracle as his excuse. When the court voted and the voices 
were equally divided, Orestes was acquitted by the command of 
Minerva. He was then purified with plentiful blood of swine. 



1 Euripides, Iphigenia among ihc TauH. 



THE WANDERINGS OF ULYSSES. 



313 



CHAPTER XXVII. 




THE WANDERINGS OF ULYSSES. 



I 



I 



§ 171. From Troy to Pheeacia. — The Odyssey of Homer nar- 
rates the wanderings of Ulysses (Odysseas) in his return from 
Troy to his own kingdom, Ithaca. 

From Troy the vessels first'made land at Ismarus, city of the 
Cicnnians, where, in a skirmish with the inhabitants, Ulysses lost 
six men from each ship. 

The Lotos eaters. — Sailing thence they were overtaken by a 
storm which drove them for nine days till they reached the country 
of the Ix)tos-eaters. I lere» alter wnlering, Ulysses sent three of 
his men to discover who the inhabitants were. These men on 
coming among the Lotos-eaiers were kindly entertained by them, 
and were given some of their own food, the lotus-])la[it, to eat. 
The effect of this food was such that those who partook of it lost 
all thought of home and wished to remain in that country. It 
was by main force that Ulysses dragged these men away, and he 
was even obliged to tie them under the benches of his ship. 

Tennyson in the IvOtos-eaters has charmingly expressed the 
dreamy, languid feeling which the lotus-food is said to have pro- 
duced. 

"... How sweet it were, hearing the downwanl stream 
With half-shut eyes ever to sccin 
Falling asleep in a half-dream ! 
To dream and dream, like yonder amber light 
Which will not leave the myrrh-hush on the height; 
To hear each other's whispered speech; 
Rating the Ix>toa, day hy day, 
To watch the crisping ripples on the beach, 
And tender curving lines of creamy spray; 



314 



CLASSIC MYTHS IN EI^GUSN UTERATURB. 



To lend our hearts find spirits wholly 

To the influence of mil(I*mindcd melancholy; 

To muse and brood and live again in Tnemory. 

With those old faces of our infancy 

Heaped over with a mound of grass. 

Two handfuls of white dust, shut in an urn of brass! 

" Dear is the memory of our wedded lives. 
And dear the last embraces of our wives 
And their warm tears: but aU hatli sufTcrcd change; 
For surely now uur household hearths are cold : 
Our sons inherit us : our looks are strange : 
And vre ^ould come like ghosts to trouble joy. 

•* . . . But, propt on beds of amaranth and moly. 
How sweet (while warm airs lull us, blowing lowly) 
With half-drupt eyelid still. 
Beneath a heaven dark and holy, 
To watch the long bright river drawing slowly 
His waters from the purple hill — 
To hear the dewy echoes calling 
From cave to cave thro' the thick-twined vine — 
To watch the eincraldcolor'd water falling 
Tliro* many a wov'n acanthus-wreath divine! 
Only to hear and see the far-off sparkling brine, 
Only to hear were sweet, strctch'd out beneath the pine. 

"The Lotos blooms below the barren peak : 
The Lotos blows by every winding creek : 
All day the wind breathes low uith mellower tone: 
Thro' every hollow cave and alley lone 

Round and round the spicy downs the yellow Lotos-dust Is blown. 
We have had enough of action, and of motion we, 

RoU'd to starboard, roll'd to larboard, when the surge was seething free. 
Where the wallowing monster spoutetl his foam-fountains in the sea. 
Let OS swear an oath, and keep it with an equal mind, 
In the hollow Lotos-land to li%-c and lie reclined 
On the hills like Gods together, careless of mankind. . . /' 

The Cyclopes. — They next arrived at the country of the 
Cyclopes. The Cyclopes (§ 1 26) inhabited an island of which they 
were the only possessors. They dwelt in caves and fed on the 




THE WANDERINGS OF ULYSSES, 315 

wild productions of the island, and on what their flocks yielded, for 
they were shepherds. Ulysses left the main body of his ships at 
anchor, and with one vessel went to the Cyclopes' island to explore 
for supplies. He landed with his companiohs/carrying with them 
ajar af wine for a present, ('oniing to a large cave they entered 
it, and finding no one within examined its contents. They found 
it stored with the riches of the flock, quantities of cheese, pails and 
bowls of niilk^ lambs and kids in their pens, all in good order. 
Prescndy arrived the master of the cave, Polyphemus, bearing an 
immense bundle of fire-wood, which he threw down before the 
cavern's mouth. He then drove into the cave the sheep and goats 
to be milked, and, entering, rolled lo the cave's mouth an enor- 
mous rock, that twenty oxen could not draw. Next he sat down 
and milked his ewes, preparing a part for cheese, and setting the 
rest aside for his customary drink. Then turning round his one 
huge eye he discerned the strangers, and growled out at them, 
demanding who they were and where from. Ulysses replied most 
humbly, stating that they were Greeks, from the great expedition 
that had lately won S(.^ mueh glory in the conquest of Troy; that 
they were now on their way home, and finished by imploring his 
hospitality in the name of the gods. Polyphemus deigned no 
answer, but reaching out his hand seized two uf the men, whom 
he hurled against the side of the cave, and dashed out their brains. 
He proceeded to devour them with great relish, and having made 
a hearty meal, stretched himself on the floor lo sleep. Ulysses 
was templed lo seize the opportunity and plunge his sword into 
him as he slept, but recollected that it would only expose them all 
to certain destruction, as the rock with which the giant had closed 
up the door was far beyond their power to remove, and they would 
therefore be in hopeless imprisonment. Next morning the giant 
seized two more of the men and despatched them in the same 
manner as their companions, feasting on their flesh till no fragment 
was left. He then moved away the rock from the door, drove out 
his flocks, and went out, carefully replacing the barrier after him. 
When he was gone Ulysses planned how he might take vengeance 



316 



CLASSfC AfVTUS /.V EN GUSH UTERATVKE, 



for his murdered friends, and effect his escape with his surviving 
companions. He nmde his men prepare a massive bar of wood 
cut by the Cyclops for a staff, which they found in the cave. They 
sharpened the end of it and seasoned it in the fire, and hid it 
under the straw on the cavern floor. Then four of the boldest 
were selected, with whom Ulysses joined himself as a fifth. The 
Cyclops came home at evening, rolled away the stone and drove in 
his flock as usual. After milking them and making his arrange- 
ments as before, he seized two more of Ulysses' companions, dashed 
their brains out, and made his evening meal upun them as he had 
on the others. After he had supped, Ulysses approaching him 
handed him a bowl of wine, saying, "Cyclops, this is wine; taste 
and drink after thy meal of man's flesh." He took and drank it, 
and was hugely delighted with it, and called for more. Ulysses 
supplied him once and again, which pleased the giant so much 
that he promised him as a favor that he should he the last of the 
party devoured. He asked his name, to which Ulysses replied, 
"My name is Noman." 

After his supper the giant sought his repose, and was soon 
sound asleep. Then Ulysses with his four select friends held the 
end of the stake in the fire till it was one burning coal, then 
poising it exactly above the giant's only eye, ihey plunged it deep 
into the socket, twirling it round as a carpenter does his auger. 
The howling monster with his outcry filled the cavern, and Ulysses 
with his aids nimbly got out of his way and concealed themselves 
in the cave. He, bellowing, called aloud on all the Cyclopes dwell- 
ing in the caves around him, far and near. They, on his cry, 
flocked round the den, and inquired what grievous hurt had caused 
him to sound such an alarm and break their slumbers. He replied, 
''O friends, I die, and Noman gives the blow." They answered, 
" If no man hurts thee it is the stroke of Jove, and thou must bear 
it," So saying, they left him groaning. 

Next morning the Cyclops rolled away the stone to let his flock 
out to pasture, but planted himself in the door of the cave to feel 
of all as they went out, that Ulysses and his men should not escape 




THE WANDEHWGS Of ULYSSES, 



317 



with them. But Ulysses had made his meD harness the rami> of 
the flock three abreast, with osiers which they found on the floor of 
the cave. '\o the middle ram of the three one of the Greeks sus- 
pended himself, so protected by the exterior rams on cither side. 
As they passed, the giant felt o{ the animah' backs and sides, but 
never thought of their beUies ; so the men all passed safe, Ulysses 
himself being on the last one that passed. When ihey had got a 
few paces frum the cavern, Ulysses and his friends released them- 
selves from their rams, and drove a good pari of the flock down 
to the shore to their boat. They put them aboard with all haste, 
then pushed off from the shore, and when at a safe distance 
Ulysses shouted out, "Cyclops, the gods have well requited thee 
for thy atrocious deeds. Know it is Ulysses to whom thou owest 
thy shameful loss of sight." The Cyclops, hearing this, seized a 
rock that projected from the side of the mountain, and rending it 
from its bed he lifted it high in the air^ then exerting all his force, 
hurled it in the direction of the voice. Down came the mass, just 
forward of the vessel The ocean, at the plunge of the huge 
rock, heaved the ship toward Polyphemus ; but a second rock 
which he hurled, striking aft, propelled them fortunately in the 
direction that they desired to take, Ulysses was about to hail the 
giant again, but his friends besought him not to do so. He could 
not forbear, however, letting the giant know that they had escaped 
his missile, but waited till they had reached a safer distance than 
before. The giant answered them with curses, while Ulysses and 
his friends plying their oars vigorously, regained their companions, j 

The Bag of Winds. — Ulysses next arrived at the island of 
^4Colus. He treated Ulysses hospitably, and at his departure gave 
him. tied up in a leathern bag with a silver string, such winds as 
might be hurtful and dangerous, commanding fair winds to blow 
the biirks toward their country. Nine days they spe<l before the 
wind, and all that time lHysses had stood at the helm, without 
sleep. At last quite exhausted he by down to sleep. While he 
slept, the crew conferred together about the mysterious bag, and 
concluded it must contain treasures given by the hospitable King 



318 



CLASSIC MYTHS /wV ENGLISH LITERATURE. 



^olus to their commander. Tempted to secure some portion for 
themselves they loosed the string, when immediately the winds 
rushed forth. The ships were driven far from their course, and 
back again to the island they had just left ^-Eolus, indignant at 
their folly^ refused to assist them further, and they were obliged to 
labor over their course once more by means of their oars. 

The Lsestrygonians. — Their next adventure was with the bar- 
barous tribe of Laesirygonians. The vessels all pushed into the 
harbor, tempted by the secure appearance of the cove, completely 
land-locked ^ only Ulysses moored his vessel without. As soon as 
the Laestrygonians found the ships completely in their power they 
attacked them, heaving huge stones which broke and overturned 
them, while with their spears they despatched the seamen as ihey 
struggled in the water. All the vessels with their crews were dc-, 
stroyed, except Ulysses* own ship which had remained outside, and 
finding no safety but in flight, he exhorted his men to ply their 
oars vigorously, and they escaped. 

The Isle of ^&sa. — With grief for their slain t:ompanions mixed 
with joy at their own escape, they pursued their way till they 
arrived at the i4i3eaa isle, where Circe dwelt, the daughter of the 
sun. Landing here Ulysses climbed a hill, and gazing round saw 
no signs of habitation except in one spot at the centre of the 
island, where he perceived a palace embowered with trees. He 
sent forward one half of his crew, under the command of Eurylo- 
chus, to sec what prospect of hospitality they might find. As they 
approached the palace, they found them^ielves surrounded by lions, 
tigers and wolves, not fierce, but tamed by Circe's art, for she was 
a powerful magician. These animals had once been men, but had 
been changed by Circe's enchantments into the forms of beasts. 
The sounds of soft music were heard from within, and a sweet 
female voice singing. Eurylochus called aloud and the goddess 
came forth and invited them in ; they all gladly entered except 
Eurylochus, who suspected danger, Hie goddess conducted her 
guests to a seat, and had them served with wine and other deli- 
cacies. When they had feasted heartily, she touched them one 



THE WANDERINGS OF ULYSSES. 



319 



plaint 



■ by one with her wand, and they became immediately changed 

■ into swine, in "head, body, voice, and bristles," yet with their 

■ intellects as before. She shvit them in her styes and supplied them 

■ with acorns and such other things as swine love. 

I Eurylocl;us hurried back to the ship and luld the tale. Ulysses 

W thereupon determined to go himself, and try if by any means he 
might deliver his companions. As he strode onward alone, he met 
a youth who addressed him familiarly, ap])eanng to be acquainted 
\vith his adventures. He announGe<l himself as Mercury, and in- 
formed Ulysses of the arts of Circe, and of the danger of approach- 
ing her. As Ulysses was not to be dissuaded from his attempt, 
Mercury provided him with a sprig of the plant Moly, of wonder- 

^ ful power to resist sorceries, and instructed him how to act. 

™ Meanwhile the companions of Ulysses made mournful 

to their cruel mistress ; — 

l{ud()ling they contc, with shag sides caked of mire, — 
Wiih houfs fresh sullied from the troughs o'er-tuxned, — 
With wrinkling snouts, — yet eyes in which desire 
Of some strange thing unutterably burned, 
Unquenchable; and still where'er She turned 
They rose about her^ striving each o'er each, 
With restless, fierce impurtuning that yearned 
Through those brute masks some piteous tale to teach. 
Yet lacked the words thereto, denied the power of speech, . 

..." If swine we be, — if wc indeed be swine, 
Daughter of Pcrs^, make us swine indeed* 
Welt-pleascd on litter-straw to He supine, — 
WelJ-plrased on mast and acom-shales to feed. 
Stirred by all instincts of the bestial breed; 
Bnt O Unmerciful ! O Pitiless ! 
Leave us not thus with sick men's hearts to bleed I — 
To waste long da)*! in yearning, dumb distress. 
And memory of things gone, ami utter hopelessness ! 

. . . '* Make us men again, — if men but groping 
That dark Hereafter which th' Olympians keep; 
Make thou us men again, — if men but hoping 
Behind death's doors security of sleep; — 




320 



CLASSIC MYT//S IN EXGLISH UTERAIVRE. 



For yet to laugh U somewhat, and to sleep; — 
To feci delight of living, and to plough 
The salt-blown acres of the shoreless deep: — 
Better, — yea better far all these than Iww 
Foul faces to foul earth, and yearn — as wc do nowl " 

So they in speech unsyllablcd. But She, 
The faic*lrc5sc(l Cioddess, born to be their bane. 
Uplifting straight her wand of ivor)'. 
Compelled them groaning to the styes again; 
Where they in hopeless bitterness were fai(\ 
To rend the oaken woodwork as before, 
And tear the troughs in impntence of pain, — 
Not knowing, they, that even at the door 
Divine Odysseus stood,— as Hermes told of yore.' 

Ulysses, reaching the palace, was courteously received by Circe, 
who entertained him as she had done his companions ; but, after 
he had eaten and drnnk, touched him with her wand, saying, 
"Hence, seek the stye and wallow with thy friends." But he, 
instead of obeying, drew his swor<i and rushed upon her with 
fury in his countenance. She fell on her knees and begged for 
mercy. He dictated a solemn oath that she would release 
his companions and practise no further harm against him or 
them ; and she repeated it, at the same time promising lo 
dismiss them all in safely after hospitably entertaining them. She 
was as good as her word. Tlie men were restored lo their shapes, 
the rest of the crew summoned from the shore, and the whole 
magnificently entertained day after day, till Ulysses seemed to 
have forgotten his nadvc land, and to have reconciled himself to 
an inglorious life of ease ami pleasure. 

The Sirens. — At length his companions recalled him to nobler 
sentiments, and he received their admonition gratefully. Circe 
aided their departure, and instructed them how to pass safely by 
the coast of the Sirens. These nymphs had the power, as has 
been already said, of charming by their song all who heard them, 




1 From Austin Dobson's Prayer of the Swine to Circe. 



THE WANDEHTNCS OF ULYSSES, 



321 




so that mariners were impelled to cast themselves into the sea 
to their destruction. Circe directed Ulysses to fill the ears ot 
his seamen with wax, so that they should not hear the strain ; to 
have himself bound to the mast, and to 
enjoin his people, whatever he might say 
or do, by no means to release him till 
they should have passed the Sirens' is- 
land. Ulysses obeyed these directions. 
As they approached the Sirens* island, 
the sea was calm, and over the waters 
came the notes of music so ravishing ami 
attractive, that Ulysses struggled to gel 
loose, and by cries and signs to his people, 
begged to be released ; but they, obedient 
to his previous orders, sprang forward and bound him still faster. 
They held on their course, and the music grew fainter till it 
ceased to be heard, when with joy Ulysses gave his companions 
the signal to unseal their ears, and they relieved him from 
his bonds. It is said that one of the Sirens, F^arthenope, in grief 
at the escape of Ulysses, drowned herself. Her body was cast 
up on the Italian shore where now stands the city of Naples — in 
early times called by the Siren*s name. 

Scylla and Charybdia. — Ulysses had been warned by Circe of 
the two monsters Scylla and Charybdis. We have already met 
with Scylla in the myth of ("rlaucus. She dwelt in a cave high up 
on the cliff, from whence she was accustomed to thnist forth her 
long necks (for she had six heads), and \\\ each of her mouths to 
seize one of the crew of every vessel passing within reach. The 
other terror, Charybdis, was a gulf, nearly on a level with the 
water. Thrice each day the water rushed into a frightful chasm, 
and thrice was disgorged. Any vessel coming near the whirlpool 
when the tide was rushing in must inevitably be ingulfed ; not 
Neptune himself could save it. On approaching the haunt of the 
dread monsters, Ulysses kept strict watch to discover them. The 
roar of the waters as Charybdis ingulfed ihem, gave warning at 




322 



ClASS/C MYT/ZS /.V ENCUSH LITERATURE. 



a distance, but Scylla could nowhere be discerned. While Ulysses 
and his men watched with anxious eyes the dreadful whirlpool, 
they were not equally on their guard from the attack of Scylla,* 
and the monster darting forth her snaky heads, caught six of his 
men» and bore them away shrieking to her den. Ulysses was 
tmalile to alTonI any assistance. 

The Cattle of the Sun. — Circe had warned him of another 
danger. After passing Scylla and Chary bdis the next land he 
would make was Thrinacia, an island whereon were pastured the 
cattle of Hyperion, the Sun, tended by his daughters Lampetia 
and Phaelhusa. These flocks must not be violated, whatever the 
wants of the voyagers might be. If this injunction were trans- 
gressed, destruction was sure to fall on the offenders. Ulysses 
would willingly h:ive passed the isla.nd of the Sun without stopping, 
but his companions so urgently pleaded for the rest and refresh- 
ment that wouM be derived from anchoring and passing the night 
on shore, that Ulysses yielded. He made them swear, however, 
not to touch the sacred flocks and herds, but to content them- 
selves with what provision they yet had left of the supply which 
Circe had put on board. So long as this iiupply lasted the people 
kept their oath ; but contrary winds detained them at the island 
for a month, and after consuming all their stock of provisions, 
they were forced to rely upon the birds and fishes they could 
catch. Famine pressed thein, and, at last, in the absence of 
Ulysses, they slew some of the cattle, vainly attempting to make 
amends for the deed by offering from them a portion to the 
offended powers. Ulysses, on his return to the shore, was horror- 
struck at perceiving what they had done, and the more so on 
account of the portentous signs which followed. The skins crept 
on the ground, and the joints of meat lowed on the spits while 
roasting. 

The wind becoming fair they sailed from the island. They had 
not gone far when the weather changed, and a storm of thunder 
and lightning ensued. A stroke of lightning shattered their mast, 
1 Incldit in ScylUin, cupietu viiare Charybdira. 



THE WANDERiNGS OF VLYSSES. 



323 



which in its fall killed the pilot. At last the vessel itself went to 
pieces. The Iteel and mast floating side by side, Ulysses furmed 
of them a raft, to which he clung; and, the wind changing, the 
waves bore him to Calypso's island. All the rest of the crew 
perished. 

Calypao's Island. — Calypso, a sea-nymph, received Ulysses 
hospitably, entertviined him magnificently, became enamored of 
him, and wished to retain him forever, offering him immortality. 
But he persisted in his resolution to return to his country and his 
wife and son. Calypso at last received the command of Jove to 
dismiss him. Mercury brought the message to her, and found her 
in her grotto. , j 

A garden vine, luxuriant on ail sides, 
Mantlcl the upacious cavern, cluster-bung 
Profuse; fuur fuuntain& of scrcnest l)'mph, 
Tlieir sinuous cuurse pursuing side by side. 
Strayed all around, and everywhere appeared 
Meadows of stificst verdure, purpled u'cr 
With vitiltrts; it was a scene to fill 
A god from heaven with wonder and dclightJ 

Calypso, with much reluctance, proceeded to obey the com 
mands of Jupiter. She svipplied Ulysses with the means of con 
structing a raft, provisioned it well for him, and gave hira a favor- 
ing gale. He sped on his course prosperously for many days, 
till at last, when in sight of land, a storm arose that broke his 
mast, and threatened to rend the raft asunder. In this crisis he 
was seen by a compassionate sea-nymph, I^ucothea, who, in the 
form of a cormorant, alighted on the raft, and presented him with 
a girtlle, directing him to bind it beneath his breast, that if he 
should be compelled to Inist himself to the waves, it might buoy 
him lip and enable htm to reach the land. 

§ 172. The Land of the Phsacians. — Ulysses clung to the raft 
so long as its limbers held together, and when it no longer yielded 
him support, binding the girdle around him, he swam. Minerva 

* Homer's Odyssey. 5 : 64. Covrper's Translation. 



CLASSIC MYTHS AV E.VGLfSH IITEKATURE. 



sraoothed the billoNvs before him and bent him a wiml that rulled 
the waves towards the shore. The surf beat high on the rocks 
and seemed tu forbid approach ; but at length finding calm water 
at the mouth of a gende stream, he landed, spent with toil, 
breathless and speechless, and almost dead. After some time 
reviving, he kissed the soil, rejoicing, yet at a loss what course to 
take. At a short distance he perceived a wood, to which he 
turned his steps. There finding a covert sheltered by intermin- 
gling branches alike from the sun and the rain, he coliected a pile 
of leaves and formed a bed, on which he stretched himself^ and 
heaping the leaves over him, fell asleep. 

The laud where he was thrown was Scheria, the country of the 
Phaearians. These people dwelt originally near the CycloiJCs ; 
but, being oppressed by that savage race, they migrated to the 
isle of Schena, under the conduct of NausithoUs, their king. They 
were, the poet tells us, a people akin t'j~the gods, who appeared 
manifestly and feasted among ihem when they offered sacrifices, 
and did not conceal themselves from solitary wayfarers when ihey 
met ihera. They had abundance of wealth, and lived in the 
enjoyment of it undisturbed by tlic alarms of war: for, as they 
dwelt remote from gain-seeking man, no enemy ever approached 
their shores, and they did not even require to make use of bows 
and quivers. I'heir chief employment was navigation. Their 
ships, ft'hich went with the velocity of birds, were endued with 
intelligence ; they knew every port and needed no pilot. Alci- 
noils, the son of N'ausithods, was now their king, a wise and just 
sovereign, beloved by his people. 

Now it happened that the very night on which Ulysses was cast 
ashore on the Phaeacinn island, and while he lay sleeping on his 
bed of leaves, Nawsicaa, the daughter of the king, had a dream 

Lsent by Miner%'a, reminding her that her wedding day might not be 
far distant, and that it would be but n pnident preparation for that 
event to have a general washing of the clothes of the family. 
This was no slight affair, for the fountains were at some distance, 
and the garments must be carried thither. On awaking, the prin- 



THE WANDERINCS OF ULYSSES. 



325 



cess hastened to her parents to tell them what was on her mind j 
not alluding to her wedding day, but finding other reasons equally 
good. Her father readily assented, and ordered the grooms to 
furnish forth a wagon for the purpose. The clothes were put 
therein ; and the queen mother placed in the wagon likewise an 
abundant supply of food and wine. The princess took her seat 
and plied the lash, her attendant virgins following her on foot. 
Arrived at the river side they turned out the mules to graze, and 
unlading the carriage, bore the garments down to the water, and, 
working with cheerfulness and alacrity, soon despatched their labor. 
Then having spread the garments on the shore to dry, and having 
themselves bathed, they sat down to enjoy their meal ; after which 
they rose and amused themselves with a game of ball, the prin- 
cess singing to them while they played. But when they had 
refolded the apparel, and were about to resume their way to the 
town, Minerva caused the ball thrown by the princess to fall into 
the water, whereat they alt screamed and Ulysses awaked at the 
sound. 

Utterly destitute of clothing, he discovered that only a few bushes 
were interposed between him and a group of young maidens, 
whom, by their deportment and attire, he discovered to be not 
mere peasant girls, but of a higher class. Breaking off a leafy 
branch from a tree he held it before him and stepped out from 
the thicket. The virgins at sight of him fled in all directions, 
Nausicaa alone excepted, for her Minerva aided and endowed 
with courage and discernment. Ulysses, standing respectfully 
aloof, told his sad case, and besought the fair object (whether 
queen or goddess he professed he knew not) for food and cloth- 
ing. The princess replied courteovisly, promising present relief 
and her father's hospitality when he should become acquainted 
with the facts. She called back her scattered maidens, chiding 
their alarm, and reminding them that the Phreacians had no 
enemies to fear. This man, she told them, was an unhappy wan- 
derer, whom it was a duty to cherish, for the poor and the stran- 
ger axe from Jove. She bade them bring food, and the gar- 



326 



CLASSIC AfV/V/S IN EXGUSH UTERATUkE. 



ments of some of her brothers' that were among the contents of 
the wagon. When this was done, and Ulysses retiring to a shel- 
tered place had washed his body free from the sea-foara, and 
clothed himself and eaten, Pallas dilated his form and diffused 
grace over his ample chest and manly brows. 

The princess seeing him was filled with aiirairation, and scrupled 
not to say to her damsels that she wished the gods would send 
her such a husband. To Ulysses she recommended that he 
repair to the city, following herself and her train so far as 
the way lay through the fields ; but when they should approach 
the city she desired that he no longer be seen in her com- 
l^ariy, for she feared the remarks which rude and vulgar people 
might make on seeing her return accompanied by such a gallant 
stranger. To avoid this she directed him to slop at a grove 
adjoining the city, in which were a farm and garden belonging to 
the king. After allowing time for the princess and her com- 
panions to reach the city, he was then to pursue his way thither, 
and should be easily guided by any he might meet to the royal 
abode. 

Ulysses obeyed the directions, and in due time proceeded to the 
city, on approarhing which he met a young woman bearing a 
pitcher forth for water. It was Minerva who 
had assumed that form. Ulysses accosted her 
and desired to be directed to the palace of 
Alcinotls, the king. The maiden re]>lied re- 
spectfully, offering to be his guide ; for the pal- 
ace she informed him stood near her father's 
dwelling. Under the guidonre of the goddess. 
and, \y\ her power, enveloped in a cloud which 
shielded him from obsen-ation, Ul>'sses passed 
among the busy crowd, and with wonder ob- 
served their harbor, their ships, their forum (the 
resort of heroes), and their battlements, till they came to the 
palace, where the goddess, having first given him some informa- 
tion of the country, king, and people he was about to meet, left 




THE WANDERINGS OF ULYSSES. 



327 



him. Ulysses, before entering the court-yard of the palace, stood 
and surveyed the scene. Its splendor astonished him. Brazen 
walls stretched from the entrance to the interior house, of which 
the doors were gold, the door-posts silver, the Untcis silver oma- 
menied with gold. On either side were figures of mastiffs wrought 
in gold and silver, standing in rows as if to guard the approach. 
Along the walls were seats spread throuyh all their length with 
mantles of finest texture, the work of Fhicacian maidens. On 
these seats the princes sat and feasteil, while golden statties of 
graceful youths held in their hands lighted torches which shed 
radiance over the scene. Full fifty female menials served in 
household offices, some employed to grind the com, others to 
wind off the purple wool or ply the loom. For the Phteacian 
women as far exceeded all other women in household arts as the 
mariners of that country did the rest of mankind in the manage- 
ment of ships. Without the court a spacious garden lay, four 
acres in extent. In it grew many a lofty tree, pomegranate, pear, 
apple, fig, and olive. Neither wintcr^s cold nor summer's drought 
arrested their growth. 

The languid sunset, mother of roses,^ 

Lingers, a Light on the magic seas, 
The wide fire flames, as a flower uncloses. 

Heavy with odoi, and loose to the breeze. 



The red rose cloudi, without law or leader. 
Gather and float in the airy plain; 

The nightingale sings to the dewy cedar, 
The cedar icatters his scent to the num. 

The strange flowers' perfume turns to singing, 

Heard afar over moonlit seas: 
The Siren's song, grown faint in winging. 

Falls in scent on the cedar-trees. 

As waifs blown out of the sunset, flying. 
Purple, and rtwy, and gray, the birds 

t Andrew Lang : A Song of Phceaola. 





Butterflies flit from the fi&iry garden. 
Living blossoms of flying Bowers; 

Never the nights with winter harden. 
Nor nwons wax keen in this land of uurs. 

Great fruits, fragrant, green and golden, 
Gleam in the green, and droop and fall; 

Blossom, and bud, and tlower unfolden, 
hmng and cling to the garden wall. 

Deep in the woods as twilight darkens, 
Glades arc red with the scented fire; 

Far in the dells the white maid hearkens 
Song and sigh of the heart's desire. 



Ulysses stood gnzing in admiration, unobserved himself, for the 
cloud which Minerva spread around him still shielded him. At 
length having sufficiently ohsen'ed the scene, he advanced with 
rapid step into the hall where the chiefs and senators were as- 
sembled, pouring libation to Mercury, whose worship followed the 
evening meal. Just then Minerva dissolved the cloud and dis- 
closed him to the assembled chiefs. Advancing to the place 
where the queen sat, he knelt at her feet and imploretl her favor 
and assistance to enable him to return to his native country. 
Then withdrawing, he seated himself in the manner of suppliants, 
at the hearth side. 

Kor a time none spoke. At last an aged statesman, addressing 
the king, said, *' It is not fit that a stranger who asks our hospi- 
tality should be kept waiting in suppliant guise, none welcoming 
him. I^t him, therefore, be led to a seat among us and supplied 
with food and wine." At these wonis the king, rising, gave his 
hand to Ulysses and led him to a seat, displacing thence his own 
son to muke room for the stranger. Food and wine were set 
before him and he ate and refreshed himself. 

The king then dismissed his guests, notifying them that the 




THE WASDERINGS OF ULYSSES. 



329 



next day he would call them to council to consider what had best 
be done for the utranger. 

When the guests had departed, and Ulysses was left alone with 
the king and queen, the queen asked him who he was and whence 
he came, and (recognizing the clothes which he wore as those 
which her maidens and herself had made) fronti whom he received 
those garments. He told them of his residence in Calypso's isle 
and his departure thence ; of the wreck of his raft, his escape by 
swimming, and of the relief alTordcd by the princess. The par- 
ents heard approvingly, and the king promised to furnish a ship 
in which his guest might return to his own land, 

I'he next day the assembled chiefs confirmed the promise of 
the king. A hark was prepared and a crew of stout rowers 
selected, and all betook themselves to the palace, where a boun- 
teous repast was provided. After the feast the king proposed that 
the young men should show their gtiest their proficiency in manly 
sports, and all went forth to the arena for games of running, 
wrestling, and other exercises. After all had done their l)est, 
Ulysses being challenged to show what he could do, at first de- 
clined, but being taunted by one of the youths, seized a quoit of 
weight far heavier than any the Phaeacians had thrown, and sent 
it farther than the utmost throw of theirs. All were astonished, 
and viewed their guest with greatly increased respect. 

After the games they returned to the hall, and the herald led in 
Demodocus, the blind bard, — 

"Dear to the Muse. 
Who yet appointed him both good and ill, 
Took from bim sight, hut gave him strains dWine." 



He took for his theme the Wooden Horse, by means of which the 
Greeks found entrance into Troy. Apollo inspired him, and he 
sang so feelingly the terrors and the exploits of that eventful time 
that all were delighted, but Ulysses was moved to tears. Observ- 
ing which, .Mcinotis. when the song was done, demanded of him 
why at the mention of Troy his sorrows awaked. Had he lost 



330 



CLASSIC AfYTI/S IN Ei\GiJSlf UTEHATURE. 



there a father, or brother, or any dear friend ? Ulysses replied by 
announcing himself by his tnie name, and, at their request, re- 
counted the adventures which had befallen him since his departure 
from Troy. This narrative raised the sympathy and admiration of 
the Phaeacians for their guest to the highest pitch. The king pro- 
,posed that all the chiefs should present him with a gift, himself 
setting the example. Tliey obeyed, and \ned with one another in 
loading the illustrious stranger with cosily gifts. 

The next <lay Ulysses set sail in the Phaeacian vessel, and in a 
short time arrived safe at Ithaca, his own island. When the vessel 
touched the strand he was asleep. The mariners, without waking 
him, carried him on shore, and landed with him the chest contain- 
ing his presents, and then sailed away. 

Neptune was so displeased at the conduct of the I'haeacians in 
thus rescuing Ulysses from his hands, that, on the return of the 
vessel to port, he transformed it into a rock, right opposite the 
mouth of the harbor. 

§ 173. Fate of the Suitors. — Ulysses had now been away from 
Ithaca for twenty years, and when he awoke he did not recognize 
hiTnative land. Minerva appeared to him in the form of a young 
shepherd, informed him where he was. and told him the state of 
things at his palace. More than a hundred nobles of Ithaca, and 
of the neighboring islands, had been for years suing for the hand of 
Penelope, his wife, imagining him dead, and lor{ling it over his 
palace and people as if they were owners of both. 

Penelope was one of those mythic heroines whose beauties were 
not those of person only, but of character and conduct as well. She 
was the niece of Tyndareus, — being the daughter of his brother 
Icarius, a Spartan prince. Ulysses, seeking her in marriage, 
had won her over all competitors. But, when the moment came 
for the bride to leave her father's house, Icarius, unable to bear 
the thoughts of parting witli his daughter, tried to persuade her 
to remain with him, and not accompany her husband to Ithaca. 
Ulysses gave Penelope her choice, to stay or go with him. Penel- 
ope made no reply, but dropped her veil over her face. Icarius 



f 



THE WANDERINGS OF ULYSSES, 



331 



urged her no further, hut when she was gone erected a statue to 
Modesty on the spot where they parted. 

Ulysses and Penelope had not tnjoyed their union more than a 
year when it was interrupted by the events which called Ulysses to 
the Trojan war. During his long absence, and when it was doubt- 
ful whether he still lived, and hi^jhly improbable that he would ever 
return, Penelope was importuned by numerous suitors, from whom 
there seemed no refuge but in choosing one of them for her hus- 
band. She, however, emplayed every art to gain time, still hop- 
ing for Ulysses" return. One of her arts of delay was by engaging 
in the preparation of a robe for the funeral canopy of Laertes, her 




husband's father. She pledged herself to make her choice among 
the suitors when the web was finished. During the day she 
worked at it, but in the night she undid the work of the day. 

That Ulysses on rctTirning might be :iMc to take vengeance upon 
the suitors, it was important that he should not be recognized. 
Minerva accordingly metamorphosed him into an unsightly beggar, 
and as such he was kindly'receivcd by Eumocus, the swine-herd, a 
faithful ser\'ant of his liouse. 

Telemachus, his son, had, for some time, lieen absent in quest 
of his father, visiting the courts of the other kings, who had re- 



332 



CLASSIC MYTHS iN ENGUSH UTERATUHE. 



turned from the Trojan expedition. While on the search, he 
received counsel from Minerva to return home. He arrived, at 
this juncture, and sought Eumseus to learn something of the 
state of affairs at the palace before presenting himself among 
the suitors. Finding a stranger with Eumaeus, he treated him 
courteously, though in the garb of a beggar, and promised him 
assistance. Eumaeus was sent to the palace to inform Penelope 
privately of her son's arrival, for caution was necessary with 
regard to the suitors, who, as Telemachus had learned, were 
plotting to. intercept and kill him. When the swine-herd was 
gone, Minerva presented herself to Ulysses, and directed him 
to make himself known to his son. At the same time she touched 
him, removed at once from him the appearance of age and penury, 
and gave him the aspect of vigorous manhood that belonged to 
him, Telemachus viewed him with astonishment, and at firet 
thought he must be more than mortal. But Ulysses announced 
himself as his father, and accounted for the change of appearance, 
by explaining tliat it was Minerva's doing. 

Then threw Teleraachna 
His arms around his father's neck and wept 
Desire intense of lamcntatinn seized 
On both; soft monnars uttering, each indalged 
His gri-f.* 



The father and son took counsel together how they should get 
the better of the suitors and punish them for their outrages. It 
was arranged that Telemachus should proceed to the palace and 
mingle with the suitors as formerly; that Ulysses should also go as 
a beggar, a character which in the rude old limes had different 
privileges from what we concede to it now. As traveller and 
story-teller, the beggar was admitted in the halls of chieftains, and 
often treated like a guest ; though sometimes, also, no doubt, with 
contumely. Ulysses charged his son not to betray, by any dis- 
play of unusual interest in him, that he knew him to be other than 

1 Odyssey i6: aia. Cowper's translation. 



THE WANDERINGS OF ULYSSES. 



333 



he seemed, an^l even if he saw him insulted, or beaten, not to 
interpose otherwise than he might rio for any stranger. At the 
palace they found the usual scene of feasting and riot going on. 
The suitors pretended to receive Teleniachus with joy at his re- 
turn, though secretly mortified at the faihjre of Iheir plots to take 
his life. The old beggar was permitted to enter, and provided 
with a portion from the table. A touching incident occurred as 
Ulysses entered the court-yard of the palace. An old dog lay in 
the yard almost dead with age, and seeing a stranger enter, raised 
his head, with ears erect. It was Argus, Ulysses' own dog, that 
he had in other days often led to the chase. 

Soon AS he perceived 
Long-lost Ulysses nigh, down fcl! his car* 
Clapped close, and with his tail glad sign he g&ve 
Of gcatuUtion, impotent to rise. 
And to approach his master as of old. 
Ulysses, noting him, uHped off a tear 

Uomarkcd. 

. . . Then his destiny released 
Old Arg^uft, icon as he ha.d lived to sec 
Ulysses in the twentieth year restored. ^ 

As Ulysses sat eating his portion in the hall, the suitors soon 
began to exhibit their insolence to him. When he mildly remon- 
strated, one of them raised a stool and with it gave him a blow. 
Telemachus had hard work to restrain hts indignation at seeing his 
father so treated in his own hall ; but, remembering his father's 
injunctions, said no more than what became him as master of the 
house, though young, and protector of his guests. 

Once, again, was the wanderer all but betrayed; — when his 
agfed nurse Euryclea, bathing his feet, recognized the scar of a 
wound dealt him by a boar, long ago. Grief and joy over- 
whelmed the crone, and she would have revealed him to Penelope, 
had not Ulysses enjoined silence upon her. 

Penelope had protracted her decision in favor of any one of her 
suitors so long, that there seemed to be no flirther pretence for 
■ Odyssey i6: sqo. Cowpcr's tianslalion. 




delay. The continued absence of her husband seemed to prove 
that his return was no longer to be expected. Meanwhile her son 

had grown np, and was able to 
manage his own affairs. She 
therefore consented to submit 
the question of her choice to a 
trial of skill among the suitors. 
The test selected was shooting 

)t ^^^S^ m ^\ ^-/y^ly^^*^ *'^^ '^^ ^^^*'* Twelve rings 
' *^ . . >«- ^gj.g arranged in a line, and he 

whose arrow was sent through 
the whole twelve, was to have the 
queen for his prize. A bow that 
one of his brother heroes had 
given to Ulysses in former times, 
was brought from the armory, 
and with its quiver full of arrows was laid in the hall. Telema- 
chus had taken care that all other weapons should be removed^ 
under pretence that in the heat of competition, there was danger, 
in some rash moment, of putting them to an improper use- 
All things being prepared fur the trial, the first thing to be done 
was to bend the bow in order to attach the string. Telemachus 
endeavored to do it, but found all his efforts fruitless ; and 
modestly confessing that he h:id attempted a task beyond his 
strength, he yielded the bow to another. He tried it with no 
better success, and, amidst the laughter and jeers of his com- 
panions, gave it up. Another tried it and another ; they rubbed 
the bow with tallmv, but nil to no purpose ; it would not bend. 
Then spoke Ulysses, humbly suggesting that he should be per- 
mitted to try ; for, said he, ** beggar as I am, I was once a soldier, 
and there is still some strength in these old limbs of mine." The 
suitors hooted with derision, and commanded to turn him out of 
the hall for his insolence. But Telemachus spoke up for hira, and 
merely to gratify the old man, hade him try. Ul^-sses took the 
bow, and handled it with the liand of a master. SVith ease he 





THE WANDERINGS OF UlYSSES, 



adjusted the cord to its notch, then fitting an arrow to the bow he 
drew the string and sped the arrow unerring through the rings. 

Without allowing them time to express their astonishment, he 
said, " Now for another mark!" and aimed direct at the most 
insolent one of the suitors. The arrow pierced through his throat 
and he fell dead. Telemachus, Euraseus, and another faithful 
follower, well armetl, now sprang to the side of Ulysses. The 
suitors, in amazement, looked round for arms, but found none, 
neither was there any way of escape, for Eumseus had secured the 
door. Ulysses left them not long in uncertainty ; he announced 
himself as the long-lost ^hief, whose house they had invaded, 
whose substance they had squandered, whose wife and son ihey 
had persecviied for ten long years; and told them he meant to 
have ample vengeance. All were slain, and Ulysses was left master 
of his palace and possessor of his kingdom and his wife. 

Tennyson's poem of Ulysses represents the old hero, — his dan- 
gers past and nothing left but to stay at home and be happy, — 
growing tired of inaction and resolving to set forth again in quest 
of new adventures. 



" It liUlu prnfita thar an idle King, 
By this still lu-artlii, among these barren crags, 
Match'd with an agcrl wife, I mttc and dole 
Unequal laws unto a savage race, 
That hnard, and sleep, and feed, and Icnou- nnt me. 
I cannot rest from travel: I will drink 
Life lei the Ices: all time* 1 have cnjoyM 
Grtatly, liave sulTer'd greatly, both with those 
That luved me, apd alune; on shore, and when 
Thro* scudding drifts the rainy Hyades 
Vext the dim sea: I am become a name; 
For always roaming with a hungry heart 
Much have I seen and known; cities of men 
And manners, climates, councils, governments, 
M>'self not least, but honor'd of them all; 
And drunk dehght of battle with my peers, 
Far on the ringing plains of windy Troy, 
1 am a part of all that 1 have met; 




CLASSrC MYTHS IN ENGLISH UTERATURE. 

Yet all experience is &n arch wherethro' 

Gleanis that untravell'd world, whose margin fades 

Forever and forever when I move. 

How dull it is to pause, to make an end. 

To ru»t unburnish'tl, not to shine in use! 

Ai tho' to breathe were life. Life piled on life 

Were all too little, and of one to me 

Little remains: but c^ery hour is saved 

From that eternal silence, sunicthiug more, 

A bringer of new things; and vile it were 

For some three suns to store and board myieli. 

And this gray spirit yearning in desire 

To follow knowledge like a sinking star. 

Beyond the utmost bountl of human thuughu 

"This ii my son, mine own Telemachus, 
To wham I leave the sceptre and the isle — 
Well-loved of me, discerning to fulfd 
This labor, by slow prudence to make mild 
A rugged people, and thro' soft degrees 
Subdue them to the useful and the good. 
Most blameless is he, centred in the sphere 
Of common duties, decent not to fail 
In offices uf tenderness, and pay 
Meet adoration to my household gods, 
When I am gone. He works his work, 1 mine. 

**Tliere lies the port: the vessel puflls her snil: 
There gloom the dark broad seas. My roarineni. 
Souls that have toit'd, and wrought, and thought with me 
That ever with a frolic welcome took 
The thunder an<l the sunshine, and opposed 
Free hearts, free foreheads — you aiyi I are old; 
Old age hath yet his honor and his toil; 
Deoth closes all: but something ere the end. 
Some work of noble note may yet he done, 
Not unbecoming men that strove with Gods. 
Tlie lights begin to twinkle from the rocks: 
The long day wones; the slow moon climbs: the deep 
Moans round with many voices. Come, my friends, 
Tis not loo late to seek a newer world. 
Push off. and sitting well in order smite 




THE WANDERINGS OF VLYSSES, 

The Bounding (urroivs; for my purpose holds 

To sail beyond the sunset, and the halhs 

or all the western stars, until I die. 

It may be that the gulfs will wash us down: 

It may be we shall touch the Happy Isles, 

And see the great Achilles, whom we knew. 

Tho* much is taken, much abides: and tho' 

We ate nut now that slrenglh which in old days 

Morcd earth and heaven, that which we arc, we arc; 

One equal temper of heroic hearts, 

Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will 

To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield." 




CLASSIC MYTHS iS BSGUSII UTBttATURE 



CHAPTER XXVIII. 



ADVENTURES OF iENEAS 



§ 174. From Troy to Italy. — Homer tells the sloryof one oi 
the Grecian heroes, Ulysses, in his wanderings, on his return home 
from Troy. Vergil in his .€neid narrates the mythical fortunes of 

the remnant of the conquered people, 
under their chief >Eneas, in their 
(^ /'^l^k search for a new home, after the ruin 

^^ /fcll^^^K^ uf their native cit)'. On that fatal 
night when the wooden borse dis- 
gorged its contents of armed men, 
and the capture and conflagration of 
the city were the result, ^tneas made 
his escape from the scene of deslmc- 
tion, with his father, and his wife, and 
young son. The father. Ancles, was 
too old to walk with the speed re- 
qtiired, and j^^neas took him upon his 
shoulders. Thus b\irdened, leading 
his son and followed by his wife, he 
made the best of his way out of the 
burning city ; but, in the confusion, his wife, CreUsa, was swept 
away ami lost. 

The Departure from Troy. — On arriving at the place of rendez- 
vous, numerous fugitives, of both sexes, were found, who put them- 
selves under the guidance of ^Eneas, Some months were spent in 
preparation, and at length they embarked. They first landed on 
the neighboring shores of Thrace, and were preparing to build a 
city; but j4vnexs was deterred by a prodigy. Preparing to offer 





^9 





ADVENTURES OF MNEAS, 

:rificc, he lore some twigs from one of the bushes. To his dis- 
may the wounded part dropped blood. When he repeated the 
act, a voice from the ground cried out to him, " Spare me, .^neas ; 
I am thy kinsman, Polydore, here murdered with many arrows, 
from which a bush has grown, nourished with my blood." These 
words recalled to the recollection uf >Eneas that Polydore was a 
young prince of Troy, whom his father had sent with ample treas- 
ures to the neighboring land of Thrace, to be there brought up, at 
a distance from the horrors of war. The king to whom he was 
sent had murdered him, and seized his treasures. .-Eneas and his 
companions, considering the land accursed by the stain of such a 
crime, hastened away. 

The Promised Empire. — They next landed on the island of De- 
los. Hcrt.* ^-Eueas <;onsulied the oracle of Apollo, and received an 
answer, ambiguoijs'asiisual, — ** Seek thy ancient mother; there 
the race of .-l^neas shall dwell, and reduce all other nations to their 
sway." I'he Trojans heard with joy. and immediately began to 
ask one another, ** Where is the spot intended by the oracle?" 
Anchises remembered that there was a tratlition that their fore- 
fathers came from Crete, and ihither they resolved to steer. They 
arrived at Crete, andbcgan to build their city ; but sickness broke 
out among them, anti the fields, that they had planted, failed to 
yield a crop. In this gloomy aspect of affairs, j+Jieas was warned 
in a <!ream to leave the country, and seek a western land, called 
Hesperia, whence Dar4iaiius^ the true founder of the Trojan race, 
was reported to have migrated. To Hesperia, now called Italy, 
they, therefore, directeil their future course, and not till after 
many adventures^ and the lapse of tinie sufficient to carry a mod- 
ern navigator several times found the world, did they arrive there. 

The Harpies. — Their first l.inding was at the island of the Har- 
pies. These were disgusting birds, with the heads of maidens, 
with long claws and faces pale with hunger. They were sent by 
the gods to torment a certain Phineus, whom Jnpiter had deprived 
of his sight, in punishment of his cruelty; and whenever a meal 
was placed before him, the harpies darted down from the air an<l 




340 



CtASS/C AfYTNS W ENGUSH LITERATURE, 



carried it off". Tliey were driven away from Phineus by the heroes 
of the Argonautic expedition, and took refuge in the island where 
i^neas now found them. When the Trojaas entered the port they 
saw herds of cattle roaming over the plain. They slew as many as 
they wished, and prepared for a feast. But no sooner had they 
seated themselves at the table, than a horrible clamor was heard 
in the air, and a flock of these odious hi^rpies came mshing down 
upon them, seizing in their talons the fneat froin the dishes, and 
flying away with it. >Eneas and his companions drew iheir swords, 
and dealt vigorous blows among the monsters, but to no purpose, 
for they were so nimble it was almost impossible to hit them, and 
their feathers were, like armor, impenetrable to steel. One of them, 
perched on a neighboring clifif, screamed out, " Is it thus, Trojans, 
ye treat us innocent birds, Arst slaughter our cattle, ^od then 
make war on ourselves? " She then predicted dire sufferings to 
them in their future course, and having vented her wrath, flew 
away. 

Eplnis. — The Trojans made haste to leave the country, and next 
found themselves coasting along the shore of Epirus. Here ihey 
landed, and to their astonishment learned that certain Trojan 
exiles, who had been cjirried there as prisoners, had become nilers 
of the country. Andromache, the widow of Hector, had become 
the wife of one of the victorious Grecian chiefs, to whom she bore a 
son. Her husband dying, she was left regent of this country, as 
guardian of her son, and had married a fellow-captive, Heleihjs, of 
the royal nee of Troy. Helenus and Andromache treated the 
exiles with the utmost hospitality, and dismissed them loaded with 
gifts. 

The Cyclopes. — From hence ^^neas coasted along the shore of 
Sicily, and passed the country of the Cyclopes. Here they were 
hailed from the shore by a miserable object, whom by his gar- 
ments tattered as they were, they perceived to l>e a Greek. He 
told theui he w;is one of Ulysses* companions, left behind by that 
chief in his hurried departure. He related the story of Ulysses' 
adventure with Polyphemus, and besought them to take him off 




ADVENTUHES OF j€,NEAS. 



341 



■ with them, as he had no means of sustaining his existence where 
he was, but wild berries and roots, and lived in constant fear of 
the Cyclopes. While he spoke Polyphemus made his appearance ; 

■ terrible, shapeless, vast, and, of course, blind.* He walked with 
cautious steps, feeling his way with a staff, down lo the sea-side, 
to wash his eye-socket in the waves. When he reached the water 
he waded out towards them, and his immense height enabled him 
to advance far into the sea, so that the Trojans, in terror, took to 
their oars to get out of his way. Hearing the oars, Polyphemus 
shouted after them, so that the shores resounded, and at the noise 
the other Cyclopes came forth 
from their caves and woods, 
and lined the shore, like a ruw 
of lofty pine-trees. The Tro- 
jans plied their oars, and soon 
left them out of sight, 

i^neas had been cautioned 
by Helcnus to avoid the strait 
guarded by the monsters 
Sc ylla a nd Charybdis. There 
Ulysses, the reader will re- 
member, had lost six of his 
men, seized by Scylla, while 
the navigators were wholly intent up)on avoiding Charylxiis. 
i^neas, following the advice of Helenus, shunned the dangerous 
pass and coasted along the island of Sicily. 

The Resentment of Juno. — Now Juno, seeing the Trojans speed- 
ing their way prosperously towards their destined shore, felt her old 
grudge against them revive, for she could not forget the slight that 
Paris had put upon her, in awarding the prize of beauty to another. 
In heavenly minds can such resentment dwell !* Accordingly she 
gave orders to iColus, who sent forth his sons, Boreas, Typhon and 

1 Monstnitn horrendum, Enibrme, ingens, cui lumen ademptum. 

— VerG. j^m.y. 658. 
' Tantaene animis coelestibus tnie^ — ^w. t : >z. 




342 



CLASSIC MYTHS /X ENGUSU UTERATURE, 



the other winds, to toss the ocean. A terrible storm ensued, and 
the Trojan ships were driven out of their course towards the coast 
of Africa. They were in imminent danger of l)eing wrecked, and 
were separated, so that --Eneas thought that all were lost except 
his own vessel. 

At this crisis, Neptune, hearing the storm raging^ and knowing 
that he had given no orders for one, raised his head above the 
waves, and saw the Heet of .4^neas driving before the gale. Under- 
standing the hostility of Juno, he was at no loss to account for it, but 
his anger was not the less at this interference in his province. He 
called the winds and dismissed them with a severe reprimand. 
He then soothed the waves, and brushed away the clouds from 
before the face of the sun. Some of the ships which had got on 
the rocks, he pried off with his own trident, while Triton and a 
sea-nymph, putting their shoulders under others, set them afloat 
again. The Trojans, when the sea became calm, sought the near- 
est shore, — the coast of Carthage, where >Eneas was so h^ppy 
as to find that one by one the ships alt arrived safe, though badly 
shaken. 

The Sojourn at Carthage. Dido. — Carthage, where the exiles 
had now arriveil, was a spot on the coast of .Africa opposite Sicily, 
where at that time a Tyrian ci>lony under Dido tht^ir queen, were 
laying the foundations of a state destined in later ages to be the 
rival of Rome itself. Dido was the daughter of Belus, king of 
Tyre, and sister of Pygmalion who succeeded his father on the 
throne. Her husband was Sichjeus, a man of immense wealth, 
but Pygmalion, who coveted his treasures, caused him to be put to 
death. Dido, with a numerous bo<iy of friends and followers, both 
men and women, succeeded in effecting their escape from Tyre, in 
several vessels, carrying with them the treasures of Sichaeus. On 
arriving at the spot which they selected as the seat of their future 
home, they asked of the natives only so much land as they could 
enclose with a bull's hide. When this was readily granted, she 
caused the hide to be cut into strips, and with them enclosed a 
spot on which she buiU a citadel, and called it Byrsa (a hide). 




ADVENTURES OF .€XE.4S. 343 

Around this fort the city of Carthage rose, and soon became a 
powerful and flourishing place. 

Such was ihe stale of affairs when -^neas with his Trojans ar- 
rived there. Dido received the illustrious exiles with friendliness 
and liospitality. " Not unacquainted with distress," she said, ** I 
have learned to succor the unfortunate. *" The queen's hospitality 
displayed itself in festivities at which games of strength and skill 
were exhibited. The strangers contended for the pahn with her 
oHm subjects, on equal terms, the queen declaring that whether 
the victor were "Trojan or Tyrian should make no difference to 
her."^ At the feast which followed tlve games, --Eneas gave at her 
request a recital of the closing events of the Trojan history and his 
own adventures after the fall of the city. Dido was charmed with 
his discourse and filletl with admiration of his exploits. She con- 
ceived an ardent passion for him, and he for his part seemed well 
content to accept the fortunate chance which appeared to offer 
him at once a happy termination of his wanderings, a home, a 
kingdom, and a bride. Months rolled away in the enjoyment of 
pleasant intercourse, and it seemed as if Italy, and the empire 
destined to be foun<lcd on its shores, were alike forgotten. Seeing 
which. Jupiter des])atched Mercury with a message to ,-ii!neas re- 
calling him to a sense of his high destiny, and commanding him 
to resume his voyage. 

/Eneas parted from Dido, though she tried ever)' allurement and 
persuasion to detain him. The blow to her affection and her pride 
was too much for her to endure, and when she found that he was 
gone, she mounted a ftmeral pile which she had caused to be pre- 
pared, and having stabbed herself was consumed with the pile. 
The flames rising over the city were seen by the departing Tro- 
jans, and though the cause was unknown, gave to .-Eneas some 
intimation of the fatal event. 

PaUDOTus. Italy at Last. — After touching at the island of 
Sicily, where Acestes, a prince of Trojan lineage, bore sway, who 

1 Haud ignara tnalf, mi&eris succmrere di&co. — -'£«. i : tyx 
' Tros Tyriusvc mihi nuHo drscHniine ogelur, — jfy, x i 574, 




I 




344 CLASSIC MYTHS IN ENGUSH UTERATURE, 

gave them a hospitable reception, the Trojans reembarkcd, and 
held oa their course for Italy. Venus now interceded with Nep- 
tune to allow her son at last to attain the wished-for goal, and find 
an end of his perils on the deep. Neptune consented, stipulating 
only for one life as a ransom for the rest. The victim was Pali- 
nurus, (he pilot. As he sat watching the stars, with his hand on 
the helm, Somnus, sent by Neptune, approached in the guise of 
Phorbas and said, " Palinurus, the breeze is fair, the water smooth, 
and the ship sails steadily on her course. Lie down a while and 
take needful rest. I will stand at the helm in thy place." Pali- 
nurus replied, "Tell me not of smooth seas or favoring winds, — 
me who have seen so much of their treachery. Shall I trust 
i^neas to the chances of the weather and the winds ? " And he 
continued to grasp the helm and to keep his eyes fixed on the 
stars. But Somnus waved over him a branch moistened with 
Lethaean dew, and his eyes closed in spite of all his efforts. Then 
Somnus pushed him overboard and he fell ; but keeping his hold 
upon the helm^ it came away with him, Neptune was mindful of 
his promise and kept the ship on her track without helm or pilot, 
till viineas discovered his loss, and sorrowing deeply for his faith- 
ful steersman took charge of the ship himself. Under his guid- 
ance the ships at last reached the shores of Italy, and joyfully the 
adventurers hjaped to land. 

The Sibyl of Cumae. — While his people were employed in 
making iheif^encampment i^neas sought the abode of the Sibyl. 
It was a cave connected with a temple and grove, sacred to Apollo 
and Diana. While /Eneas conlemplated the scene, the Sibyl ac- 
costed him. She seemed lo know his errand, and under the in- 
fluence of the deity of the place, burst forth in a prophetic strain, 
giving dark intimations of labors and perils through which he was 
destined to make his way to final success. She closed with the 
encouraging words which have become proverbial: — "Yield not 
to disasters, but press onward the more bravely."* ^neas replied 
that he had prepared himself for whatever might await him. He 

* Tu ne c*dc malis, sed contra audentior iio. —A^n. 6: 95. 



/"■ 




ADVENTURES OF ^NEAS. 



had but one request to make. Having been directed in a dream 
to seek the abode of the dead in order to confer with his father 
Anchises to receive from him a revelation of his future fortunes 
and those of his race, he asked her assistance to enable hitii to ac- 
complish the task. The Sibyl replied, "The descent to Avernus 
is easy ; the gate of Pluto stands open night and day ; but to re- 
trace one's steps and return to (he upper air, that is the toil, that 
the difficulty.^ She instructed him to seek in the forest a tree on 
which grew a golden branch. This branch was to be plucked off 
and borne as a gift to Proserpine, and if fate was propitious it 
would yield to the hand and quit its parent trunk, but otherwise 
no force could rend it away. If torn away another would succeed, 

i^neas followed the directions of the Sibyl. His mother Venus 
sent two of her doves to fly before him and show him the way, 
and by their assistance he found the tree, plucked the branch, 
and hastened back with it to the Sibyl. 

§ 175. The lafemal Regions. — The region where Vergillocates 
the entrance to the infernal regions is, perhaps, the most strikingly 
adapted to excite ideas of the terrific and preternatural of any on 
the face of the earth. It is the volcanic region near Vesuvius, 
where the whole country is cleft with chasms from which sulphur- 
ous flames arise, while the ground is shaken with pent-up vapors, 
and mysterious sounds isstie from the bowels of the earth. The 
lake Avernus is supposed to fill the crater of an extinct volcano. 
It is circular, half a mile wide, and very deep, surrounded by high 
banks, which in Vergil's time were covered with a gloomy forest. 
Mephiiic vapors rise from its waters, so that no life is found on 
its banks, and no birds fly over it. Here ^neas offered sacrifices 
to the infernal dielies, Proserpine, Hecate, and the Furies. Then 
a roaring was heard in the earth, the woods on the hill-tops were 
shaken, and the howling of dogs announced the approach of the 



1 Facilis descensus Avemi ; 
Noctes atque di» iiatel atri j.-inua Ditis; 
Scd revocare gradum. su|>erasque evadere ad sums, 
Hoc opus, hie labor est — jSh, 6 : 106-139. 




346 



CLASSIC A/VrZ/S AV fiSGUSfl UTEHATURE. 



deiiies. '* Now," said the Sibyl, *'surara'ja ihy courage, for tiioa 
shalt need it." She descended into the cave of Avernus, and 
^^oeas followed. Before the threshold of hell they passed through 
a group of beings who are enumerated as Griefs and avenging 
Cares, pale Diseases, and melancholy Age, Fear and Hunger that 
leuipt to crimeTToil. Poverty, and Death, forms horrible to view. 
The Furies spread their couches there, and Discord, whose hair 
was of vipers tied up with a bloody fillet. Here also were the 
monsters, Briareus, with his hundred arms. Hydras hissing, and 

Chimzeras breathing 
lire. ~^i€neas shud- 
dered at the sight, 
drew his sword and 
would have struck, but 
the Sibyl restrained 
him. They then came 
to the black river Co- 
cytus, where they 
found the ferryman, 
Charon, old and squal- 
id, "but strong and 
vigorous, who was re- 
ceiving passengers of. 
all kinds into his boat^ 
stout-hearted heroes, boys and unmarried girls, as numerous as the 
leaves that fall at autumn, or the flocks that fly southwarti at the ap- 
proach of winter. They stood ])ressing for a passage and longing 
to touch the opposite shore. But the stern ferryman took in only 
such as he rho^, driving the rest hack. .4^neas. wondering at 
the sight, askfd the Sibyl. "Why this discrimination?" She 
answered, "Those who are taken on board the bark are the souls 
of those who have rercivcd due burial rites; the host of others 
who have remained unburied are not permitted to pass the Sood, 
but wander a hundred years, and flit to and fro about the shore, 
till at last they are taken over." ^neas grieved at recollecting 






I 



ADVENTURES OF MNEAS. 



some of his own companions who had pf risheri in the storm. At 
that moment he beheld Palinurus, his pilot, who fell overboard 
and was drowned. He addressed him and asked him the cause 
of his misfortune. Palinurus replied that the rudder was carried 
away, and he clinging to it was swept away with it. He besought 
-■Eneas most urgently to extend to him his hand and take him in 
company to the opposite shore. But the Sibyl rebuked him for 
the wish thus to transgress the laws of Flu to; but consoled him 
by informing him that the people of the shore where his body 
had been wafted by the waves should be stirred up by prodigies 
to give it due burial, and that the promontory should bear the 
name oT Cape Palinunis, — and so it does to this day. Leaving 
I'alinurus consoled by these words, they approached the boat. 
Charon, fixing his eyes sternly upon the advancing warrior, de- 
manded by what right he, living and armed, approached that 
shore. To which the Sibyl replied that they would commit no 
violence, that Eneas' only object was to see his father, and finally 
exhibited the golden branch, at sight of which Charon's wrath 
relaxed, and he made haste to turn his bark to the shore, and 
receive them on board. The boat, adapled only to the light 
freight of bodiless spirits, groaned under the weight of the hero. 
They were soon conveyed to the opposite shore. There they 
were encountered by the three-headed dog Ccrbenis, with his 
necks bristling with snakes. He barked with all three throats 
till the Sibyl threw him a medicated cake, which he eagerly de- 
voiired, and then sirctrhed himself out in his den and fell asleep. 
j^ineas and the Sibyl sprjng to land. The first sound that struck 
their ears was the wailing of young children, who had died on the 
threshold of life ; and near to these were they who had perished 
under false charges. Minos presides over them as judge, and 
examines the deeds of each. The next class was of those who 
had died by their own hand, hating life and seeking refuge in 
death. O, how willingly would they now endure poverty, l.ibor. 
and any other infliction, if they might but return to life ! Next 
were situated the regions of sadness, divided off into retired paths, 



348 



CI^SS/C MYTHS IN ENGLISH ItTERATURB. 



leading through groves of myrtle. Here roamed those who had 
fallen victims to unrequited love, not freed from pain even by 
death itself. Among these, i^neas thought he descried the 
form of Dido, with a wound still recent. In the dim light he was 
for a moment uncertain, but approaching, perceived it was indeed 
herself. Tears fell fr6m his eyes, and he addressed her in the 
accents of love. " Unhappy Dido ! was then the rumor tr\ie ihat 
thou hadst perished? and was I, alas ! the cause? I call the gods 
to witness that my departure from thee was reluctant, and in obedi- 
ence to the commands of Jove ; nor could I believe that ray 
absence would have cost thee so dear. Stop, I beseech thee, and 
refuse me not a last farewell." She stood for a moment with 
averted countenance, and eyes fixed on the ground, and then 
silently passed on, as insensible to his pleadings as a rock. 
iEneas followed for some distance ; then, with a heavy heart, 
rejoined his companion and resumed his route. 

They next entered the fields where roam the heroes who hav« 
fallen in battle. Here they saw many shades of Grecian and Tro- 
jan warriors. The T^oj^^ns thronged around him, and^could not be 
satisfied with the sight. They asked the cause of his coming, and 
plied him with innumerable questions. But the Greeks, at the 
sight of his armor glittering through the murky atmosphere, recog- 
nised the hero, and filled with terror turned their backs and fled, 
as they used to do on the plains of Troy. 

.(^neas would have lingered long with his Trojan friends, but 
the Sibyl hurried him away. They next came to a place where 
the road divided, the one leading to Elysium, the other to the 
regions of the condemned, ^neas beheld on one side the walla 
of a mighty city, around which Phlegelhon rolled its fiery waters. 
Before him was the gale of adamant that neither gods nor men can 
break through. An iron tower ~stood by the gate, on which Tisi- 
ph(?ne, the avenging Fury, kept guard. From the city were heard 
groans, and the sound of the scourge, the creaking of iron, and the 
clanking of chains, ^neas, horror-struck, inquired of his guide 
what crimes were those whose punishments produced the sounds 




ADVENTURES OF ^NEAS 



ie heard? The Sibyl answered, "Here is the judgment hall of 
Rhadamanthus, who brings lo light crimes done in Ufe, which the 
perpetrator vainly thought impenetrably hid. Tisiphone applies 
her whip of scorpions, and delivers the offender over to her sister 
Furies." At this moment, with horrid clang, the brazen gates 
unfolded, and, within, .'Eneas saw a Hj^dra with fifty heads, guard- 
ing the entrance. The Sibyl told him that the gulf of Tartarus 
descended deep, so that its recesses were as far beneath their feet 
as heaven was high above their heads. In the bottom of this pit, 
the Titan race, who warred against the gods, lie prostrate ; Salmo- 
neus, also, who presumed to vie with Jupiter, and built a bridge of 
brass over which he drove his chariot that the sound might resem- 
ble thunder, launching flaming brands at his people in imitation of 
lightnings till Jupiter struck him with a real thunderbolt, and taught 
him the difference between mortal weapons and divine. Here, 
also, is Tityus, the giant, whose form is so imnense, that, as he lies, 
he stretches over nine acres, while a vulture preys upon his liver, 
which, as fast as it is devoured grows again, so th^L his punishment 
will have no end. 

j^neas saw groups seated at tables, loaded with dainties, while 
near by stood a Fury who snatched away the viands from their lips 
as fast as ihey prepared to taste them. Others beheld suspended 
over their heads huge rocVs, threatening to fall, keeping them in a 
state of constant alarm. These were they wlio had hated their 
brothers, or struck their parents, or defrauded the friends who 
trusted them, or who, having grown rich, kept their money to 
themselves, and gave no share to others ; the last being the most 
numerous class. Here also were those who had violated the mar- 
riage vow, or fought in a bad cause, or failed in fidelity to their 
employers. Here was one who had sold his country for gold, 
another who perverted the laws, making them say one thing to-day 
and another tomorrow. 

Ixion was there, fastened to the circumference of a wheel cease- 
lessly revolving; and Sis)*phus, whose task was to roll a huge stone 
up to a hill top, but when the steep was well-nigh gained, the rock. 



350 



CLASSIC sMYTNS W SNGUSU UTBRATUHE. 



repulsed by some sudden force, nished again headlong down to 
the plain. Again he toiled at it, while the sweat bached all his 
weary limbs, but all to no efTccl. There was Tantalus, who stood 
in a pool, his chin level with the water, yet he was parched with 
thirst, and found nothing to assauge it ; for when he bowed his 
hoary head, eager to qua(T, the water fled away, leaving the ground 
at his feet all dry. Tall trees, laden with fruit,, stooped their heads 
to him, pears, pomegranates, apples, and luscious figs; but when, 
with a sudden grasp, he tried to seize them, winds whirled them 
high above his reach. 

The Elysian Fields. — The Sibyl now warned ^neas that it was 
time to tiim from these melancholy regions and seek the city of 
the blessed. They passed through a middle tract of darkness, and 
came upon the Elysian fields, the groves where the happy reside. 
They breathed a freer air, and saw all objects clothed in a purple 
light. The region had a sun and stars of its own. The inhabitants 
were enjoying themselves in various ways, some in sports on the 
grassy turf, in games of strength or skill, others dancing or singing. 
Orpheps struck the chords of his lyre, and called forth ravish- 
ing sounds. Here ^-Eneas saw the founders of the Trojan state, 
great-hearted heroes who lived in happier times. He gazed with 
admiration on the war chariots and glittering arms now reposing 
in disuse. Spears stood fixed in the ground, and the horses, 
unharnessed, roamed over the plain. The same pride in splendid 
armor and generous steeds which the old heroes felt in life, accom- 
panied them here. He saw another group feasting, and listening 
to the strains of music. They were in a laurel grove, whence the 
great river Po has its origin, and flows out among men. Here 
dwelt those who fell by wounds received in their countrj-'s cause, 
holy priests also, and poets who have uttered thoughts worthy of 
Apollo, and others who have contributed to cheer and adorn life 
by their discoveries in the useful arts, and have made their memory 
blessed by rendering service to mankind. They wore snow-while 
fillets about their brows. The Sibyl addressed a group of these, 
and inquired where .Anrhises was to be found. They were directed 



ADyENTU/iES OF .-E.VE.-tS, 



351 



where to seek him, and soon found him in a verdant valley, where 
he was contemplating the ranks of his posterity, their destinies and 
worthy deeds to be achieved in coming times. When he recog- 
nized -^neas approaching, he stretched out both hands to him, 
while tears flowed freely. *' Dost thou come at last," said he, 
"long expected, and do I behold thee after such perils past? O 
ray son, how have I trembled for thee, as I have watched thy 
course!" To which ^'Eneas replied, " O father! thy image was 
always before me to guide and guard me." Then he endeavored 
to enfold his father in his embrace, but his arms enclosed only an 
unsubstantial shade. 

The Valley of Oblivion. — .-Eneas perceived before him a 
spacious valley, with trees gently waving to the wind, a tranquil 
landscape, through which the river Lethe flowed. Along the 
banks of the stream wandered a countless multitude, numerous as 
insects in the summer air. v^neas, with surprise, inquired who 
were these. .Anchises answered, " They arc souls to which bodies 
are to be given in due time. Meanwhile they dwell on lathe's 
bank, and drink oblivion of their former lives." "O, father!" 
said ^neas, " is it possible that any can be so in love with life, 
as to wish to leave these tranquil seats for the upper world?" 
Anchises replied by explaining the plan of creation. The Creator, 
he told him, originally made the material of which souls are com- 
posed, of the four elements, tire, air, earth, and water, all which 
when united took the form of the most excellent part, fire, and 
became ^(7/;/^. This material was scattered like seed among the 
heavenly bodies, the sun, moon, and stars. Of this seed the 
inferior gods created man and all other animals, mingling it with 
various proportions of earth, by which its purity was alloyed and 
reduced. Thus the more earth predominates in the composition, 
the less pure is the individual ; and we see that rpen and women 
with their full-grown bodies have not the purity of childhood. So 
in proportion to the time which the union of body and soul has 
lasted, is the impurity contracted by the spiritual part. This im- 
purity must be purged away after death, which is done by ven- 



352 



CLASSIC MYTHS IN ENGLISH UTERATVRE, 



tilating the souls in the current of winds, or merging them in 
water, or burning out their impurities by fire. Some few, of whom 
Anchises intimates that he is one, are admitted at once to Ely- 
sium, there to remain. But the rest, after the impurities of earth 
are purged away, are sent back to life endowed with new bodies, 
having had the remembrance of their former lives eflectually 
washed away by the waters of Lethe. Some souls, hovvever, there 
still ore, so thoroughly corrujned, that they are not fit to be in- 
trusted with human bodies, and these pass by metcm^ychosis into 
the boiiies of brute animals. 

Anchises, having explained so much, proceeded to point out to 
iEneas individu:ils of his race, who were hereafter to \>t bom, and 
to relate to him the exploits they should perform in the world. 
After this he reverted to the present, and told his son of the 
events that remained to him to be accomplished before the com- 
plete establishment of himself and his followers in Italy. Wars were 
to be waged, battles fovight, a bride to be won, and, in the result, 
a Trojan state founded, from which should rise the Roman pov»-er. 
to be in time the sovereign of the world. 

As ^neas and the Sibyl pursued their way back to earth, he 
said to her, " Whether thou be a goddess or a mortal beloved 
by the gods, by me thou shalt always be held in reverence. 
When I reach the upper air, I will cause a temple to be built 
to thy honor, and will myself bring offerings." ** I am no god- 
dess," said the Sibyl ; *' I have no claims to sacrifice or offering. 
I am mortal, yet» could I but have accepted the love of Apollo, I 
might have been immortal. He promised me the fulfilment of 
my wish, if I would consent to be his. I took a handful of sand, 
and holding it forth, said, 'Grant me to see as many birthdays as 
there are sand-grains in my hand.' Unjuckily I forgot to ask for 
enduring youth. This also he would have granted, could I have 
accepted his love, but offended at niy refusal, he allowed me to 
grow old. My youth and youthful strength fled long ago. I have 
lived seven hundred years, and to equal the number of the sand- 
grains, I have still to see three hundred springs and three hundred 




J 




ADVEbTTURES OF yENEAS. 



3S3 



harvests. My body shrinks up as years increase, and in time, I 
shall be lost to sight, but my voice will remain, and ftiture ages 
will respect my sayings." 

'ITiese concluding words of the Sibyl alluded to her propiietic 
power. In her cave she was accustomeri to inscribe on leaves 
gathered from the trees ihe nanaes and fates of individuals. The 
leaves thus inscribed were arranged in order within the cave, and 
might be consulted by her votaries. But if, perchance, at the 
opening of the door the wind rushed in and dispersed the leaves, 
the Sibyl gave no aid to restoring them again, and the oracle was 



ineparablv lost. 



?/ 



Clr 




o- 





CHAPTER XXIX. 



THE WAR BETWEEN TROJANS AND LATINS. 

§ 176. ^neas, having parted from the Sibyl and rejoined his 
fleet, coasted along the shores of Italy and cast anchor in the mouth 
of the Tiber. The poet, having brought his hero to this spot, the 
destined termination of his wanderings, invokes his Muse to tell 
him the situation of things at that eventful moment. Latinus, 
third in descent from Saturn, ruled the country. He was now 
<jld and had no male descendant, but had one charming daughter. 
Lavinia, who was sought in marriage by many neighboring chiefs^ 
one of whom. Turnus, king of the Rutulians, was favored by the 
wishes of her parents. But I^tinus liaii been warned in a dream 
by his father Faunus, that the destined husband of Lavinia should 
come from a foreign land. From that union should spring a race 
destined tu subdue the world. 

Our readers will remember that in the conflict with the Harpies, 
one of those half-human birds had threatened the Trojans with 
dire sufferings. In particular she predicted thai before their 
wanderings ceased they shouhi be pressed by hunger to devour 
their taUes. This portent now came true ; for as they look iheii 
scanty meal, seated on the grass, the men placed their hard bis- 
cuit on their laps, and put thereon whatever their gleanings in the 
woods supplied. Having despatched the latter they finished by 
eating the crusts. Seeing wliich, the boy lulus said playfully, 
*' See, we are eating our tables." /4'"ncas caught the words and 
accepted the omen. "All hail, promised land!" he exclaimed, 
" this is our home, this our country 1 " He then took measures 
to find otii who were the present inhabitants of the land, and who 
their rulers. A hundred chosen men were sent to the village of 






THE WAR BETWEEN TROJANS AND LATINS. 

Latinus, bearing presents and a request for friendship and alliance. 
They went and were favorably received. Laiinus immediately 
concluded that the Trojan hero was no other than the promised 
son-in-law announced by the oracle. He cheerfully granted his 
alliance and sent back the messengers mounted on steeds from his 
stables, and loaded with gifts and friendly messages. 

Juno, seeing things go thus prosperously for the Trojans, felt 
her old animosity revive, summoned Alecto from Erebus, and sent 
her to stir \\\^ discord. The Fury first took possession of the 
queen, Amata, and roused her to oppose in every way the new 
alliance. Alecto then sped to the city of Tumus, and assum- 
ing the form of an old priestess, informed him of the arrival of the 
foreigners, and of the attempts of their prince to rob him of his 
bride. Next she turned her attention to the camp of the Trojans. 
"ITiere she saw the boy lulus and his companions amusing them- 
selves with hunting. She sharpened the scent of the dogs, and 
led them to rouse up from the thicket a tame stag, the favorite 
of Silvia, the daughter of Tyrrheus, the king's herdsman. A 
javelin from the hand of lulus wounded the animal, which had 
only strength left to mn homeward, — and died at ils mistress's 
foet. Her cries and tears roused her brothers and the herdsmen, 
and they, seizing whatever weapons came to hand, furiously as- 
saulted the hunting party. These were protected by their friends, 
and the herdsmen were finally driven back with the loss of two of 
their number. 

These things were enough to rouse the storm of war, and the 
queen, Tuinus, and the peasants all urged the old king to drive 
the strangers from the country. He resisted as long as he could, 
but finding his opposition unavailing, finally gave way and re- 
treated to his retirement. 

The Gates of Janus opened. — It was the custom of the coun- 
try, when war was to be undertaken, for the chief magistrate, clad 
in his robes of office, with solemn pomp to open the gates of the 
temple of Janus, which were kept shut as long as peace endured. 
His people now urged the old king to perform that solemn office, 




356 



Cl/fSS/C MYTHS m ENGUS/i UTERATVRE, 



but he refused to do so. While ihcy contested, Juno herself, 
descending from the skies, smote the doors with irresistible force, 
and burst them open. Immediately the whole country was in a 
flame. The people rushed from every side breathing nothing but 
war. 

Turn\is was recognized by all as leader ; others joined as allies, 
chief of whom was Mezentius, a brave and able soldier, but of 
detestable cruelty. He had been the chief of one of the neighbor- 
ing cities, but his people drove him out. With him was joined 
his son Lausus, a generous youth worthy of a belter sire, 

Camilla. — Camilla, the favorite of Diana, a huntress and war- 
rior, after the fashion of the Amazons, came with her band of 
mounted followers, including a select num- 
ber of her own sex, and ranged herself 
on the side of Turnus. This maiden had 
never accustomed her fingers to the dis- 
taff or the loom, but had learned to 
endure the toils of war, and in speed 
to outstrip the wind. It seemed as if 
she might nm over the standing com 
without crushing it, or over the surface of 
the water without dipping her feet Ca- 
milla's history had been singular from 
the beginning. Her father, Metabus, 
driven from his city by civil discord, car- 
ried with him in his flight his infant 
daughter. As he fled through the woods, 
his enemies in hot pursuit, he reached 
the bank of the river Amasenus, which, 
swelled by rains, seemed to debar a pas- 
sage. He paused for a moment, then decided what to do. He 
lied the infant to his lance with wrappers of bark, and poising the 
weapon in his upraised hand, thus addressed Diana: "Goddess 
of the woods! I consecrate this maid to thee;" then hurled the 
weapon with its burden to the opposite bank. The spear flew 





THE WAR BETWEEl^ TROJANS AND LATINS. 357 



P 

V across the roaring water. His piirsiiers were already upon him, 
I but he plunged into the river and swam across, and found the 
I spear, with the infant safe on the other side. Thenceforth he 
lived among the shepherds and brotight up his daughter in wood- 
land arts. While a child she was taught to use the bow and throw 
the javelin. With her sling she could bring down the crane or the 
wild swan. Her dress was a tiger's skin. Many mothers sought 
her for a daughter-in-law, but she continued faithful to Diana 
and repelled the thought of marriage. 

Alliance with Evander. — Such were the formidable allies that 
ranged themselves against /Eneas. It was night and he lay 
stretched in sleep on the bank of the river, under the open 
heavens. The god of the stream, Father Tiber, seemed to raise 
his head above the willows and to say, " O goddess-born, destined 
possessor of the Latin realms, this is the promised land, here is to 
be thy home, here shall terminate the hostility of the heavenly 
powers, if only thou faithfully persevere. There are friends not 
far distant. Prepare thy boats and row up my stream; I will 
lead thee to Evander the Arcadian chief. He has long been at 
strife with Turnus and the Rutulians, and is prepared to become 
an ally of thine. Rise ! offer thy vows to Juno, and deprecate 
her anger. When thou hast achieved thy victory then think of 
me." ^neas woke and paid immediate obedience to the friendly 
vision. He sacrificed to Juno, and invoked the god of the river 
and all his tributary fountains to lend their aid. Then for the 
first time a vessel filled with armed warriors floated on the stream 
of the Tiber. The river smoothed its waves, and l«ide its current 
flow genUy, while, impelled by the vigorous strokes of the rowers, 
the vessel shot rapidly up the stream. 

About the middle of the day they came in sight of the scattered 
buildings of the infant town where in after limes the proud city of 
Rome grew, whose glory reached the skies. By chance the old 
king, Evander, was that day celebrating annual solemnities in 
honor of Hercules and all the gods. Pallns, his son, and all the 
chiefs of the little commonwealth stood by. Wheti they saw the 



358 C/^4SS/C MYTHS IX ENGLfSfJ LITERATUHE. 

tall ship gliding onward through the wood, they were alarmed al 
the sight, and rose from the tables. But Pallas forbade the solem- 
nities to be interrupted, and seizing a weapon, stepped forward to 
the river's bank. He called aloud, demanding who they were, 
and what their object. .(-Eneas, holding forth an olive-branch, re- 
plied, " We are Trojans, friends to you and enemies to the Rutul- 
ians. We seek Evander and offer to join our arms with yours." 
Pailas, ill amaze at the sound of so great a name, invited them to 
land, and when ^neas touched the shore he seized his hand, and 
held it long in friendly grasp, Proceeding through the wood they 
joined the king and his party, and were most favorably received. 
Seats were provided for them at the tables, and the repast pro- 
ceeded. 

Infant Rome. — When the solemnities were ended all moved 
towards the city. The king, bending with age, w-alked between 
his son and ^neas, taking the arm of one or the other of them, 
and with much variety of pleasing talk shortening the way. 
/^•Ineas with delight looked and listened, obsen'ing all the beauties 
of the scene, and learning much of heroes renowned in ancient 
times. Evander said, "These extensive groves were once in- 
habited by fauns and nymphs, and a rude race of men who sprang 
from the trees themselves, and had neither laws nor social culture. 
They knew not how to yoke the cattle nor raise a harvest, nor pro- 
vide from present abundance for future want ; but browsed hke 
beasts upon the leafy boughs, or fed voraciously on their hunted 
prey. Such were they when Saturn, expelled from Olympus by 
his sons, came among them and drew together the fierce savages, 
formed them into society, and gave them laws. Such peace and 
plenty ensued that men ever since have called his reign the golden 
age ; but by degrees far other times succeeded, and the thirst of 
gold and the thirst of blood prevailed. The land was a prey to 
successive tyrants, till fortune and resistless destiny brought me 
hither, an exile from my native land, Arcadia.'* 

Having thus said, he showed him the Tarpeian rock, and the 
rude spot then overgrown with bushes where in after limes the 





THE WAR BETWEEh^ TROJANS AND LATINS. 359 

Capitol was to rise in all its magnificence. He next pointed to 
some dismantled walls, and said, " Here stood Janiculutn, built by 
Janus, and there Saturnia, the town of Saturn." Such discourse 
brought them to the cottage of poor Evander, whence they saw 
the lowing herds roaming over the plain where soon should stand 
the proud and stately Forum. They entered, and a couch, well 
stuffed with leaves and covered with the skin of a Libyan bear, was 
spread for ^neas. 

Next morning, awakeaed by the dawn and the shrill song of 
birds beneath the eaves of his low mansion, old Evander rose. 
Clad in a tunic, and a panther's skin thrown over his shoulders, 
with sandals on his feet, and his good sword girded to his side, he 
went forth to seek his guest. Two mastiffs followed him, his 
whole retinue and body-guard. He found the hero attended by 
his faithful Achates, and, Fallas soon joining them, the old king 
spoke thus : — 

" Illustrious Trojan, it is but little we can do in so great a cause. 
Our state is feeble, hemmed in on one side by the river, on the 
other by the Rutulians. But I propose to ally thee with a people 
numerous and rich, lo whom fate lias brought thee at the propitious 
moment. The Ktruscans hold the country beyond the river. 
Mezentius was their king, a monster of cruelty, who invented un- 
heard-of torments to gratify his vengeance. He would fasten the 
dead to the living, hand to hand and face to face, and leave the 
wretched victims to die in that dreadful embrace. At length 
people cast him out, him and his house. 'I'hey burned his palace 
and slew his friends. He escaped and took refuge with Turnus, 
who protects him with arms. The Etruscans demand that he shall 
be given up to deserved punishment, and would ere now have at- 
tempted lo enforce their demand ; but their priests restrain them, 
telling them that it is the will of heaven that no native of the land 
shall guide them to victory, and that their destined leader must 
come from across the sea. They have olTered the crown to me, 
but I am too old to undertake such great affairs, and my son is 
native-born, which precludes him from the choice. Thou, equally 




3£0 



CLASSIC MYTHS W ENGLISH UTERATVUE. 



I 



by birih and time of life, and fame in arms, pointed out by the 
gods, hast but to appear to be hailed at once as iheir leader. 
With thee I will join Pallas, my son, my only hope and comfort 
Under thee he shall leam the art of war, and strive to emulate thy 
great exploits." 

Then the king ordered horses to be furnished for the Trojan 
chiefs, and .-Eneas, with a chosen band of followers and Pallas ac- 
companying, mounted and took the way to the Etruscan city,' 
having sent back the rest of his party in the ships. .-Eneas and 
his band safely arrived af the Etruscan camp» and were received 
with open arms by Tarchon and his countrymen. 

Tumua attacks the Trojan Camp. — In the meanwhile Tumus 
had collected his bands, and made all necessary preparations for 
the war. Juno sent Iris to him with a message inciting him to 
take advantage of the absence of ^4*)neas and surprise the Trojan 
camp. Accordingly the attempt was made ; but the Trojans were 
found on their guard, and having received strict orders from 
i^neas not to fight in his absence, they lay still in their inlrench- 
mcnts, and resisted all the efforts of the Rutuiians to draw them 
into the field. Night coming on, the army of Tumus, in high 
spirits at their fancied superiority, feasted and enjoyed themselves, 
and finally stretched themselves on the field and slept secure, 

Nisua and Euryalua. — In the camp of the Trojans things were 
far otherwise. I'hcre all was watchfulness and anxiety, and impa- 
tience for j^neas* return. Nisus stood guard at the entrance of 
the camp, and Euryalus, a youth distinguished above all in the 
army for graces of person and fine qualities, was with him. These 
two were friends and brothers in arms. Nisus said to his friend, 
" Dost thou perceive what confidence and carelessness the enemy 
display? Their lights arc few and dim, and the men seem all 
oppressed with wine or sleep. Thou knowcst how anxiously our 
chiefs wish to send to i^neas, and to get intelligence from him. 



h 



1 The poet here inseru a famous line which Is thought to imitate In its sound 
the gallopinR of horses :— Quadrupedante pLiirem sonilu quaiit ungula campum. 
— ^^n. 8 : 596. 




I 



THE WAR BETWE&N THOJANS AND LATINS, 361 

Now I am strongly moved to make my way through the enemy's 
camp and to go in search of our chief. If I succeed, the glory 
of the deed will be rewaid enough for rac, ajid if they judge the 
service deserves anything more, let them pay it thee." 

Euryaluh, all un lire with the love of adventure, replied, " Wouldst 
thou then, Nisus, refuse to share thy enterprise with me? And 
shall 1 let thee go into such danger alone ? Not so my brave father 
brought me up, nor so have I planned for myself when I joined 
the standard of ^neas, and resolved to hold my life cheap in com- 
parison with honor." Nisus replied, '* I doubt it not, my friend ; 
but thou knowest the uncertain event of such an undertaking, and 
whatever may happen to me, I wish thee to be safe. Thou art 
younger than I and hast more of life in prospect. Nor can I be 
the cause of such grief to thy mother, who has chosen to be here 
in the camp with thee rather than stay and live in peace with the 
other matrons in Acestes' city." Euryalus replied, " S.iy no more. 
In vain dost thou seek arguments to dissuade me. I am fixed in the 
resolution to go with thee. Let us lose no time." They called the 
guard, and committing the watch to them, sought the general's 
tent. They found the chief officers in consultation, deliberating 
how they should send notice to .^neas of their situation. The 
offer of the two friends was gladly accepted, themselves loaded 
with praises and promiseil the most liberal rewards in case of suc- 
cess, lulus especially addressed Euryalus, assuring him of his 
lasting friendship. Euryalus replied, " I have but one boon to 
ask. My aged mother is with me in the camp, For me she left 
the Trojan soil, and would not stay behind with the other matrons 
at the city of Acestes. I go now without taking leave of her. I 
could not bear her tears nor set at nought her entreaties. But do 
thou, I beseech thee, comfort her in her distress. Promise me that 
and I shall go more boldly into whatever dangers may present 
themselves.'* lulus and the other chiefs were moved to tears, and 
promised to do all his request. "Thy mother shall be mine." 
said lulus, "and all that I have promised thee shall be made 
good to her^ if thou dost not return to receive it." 




362 



ClASS/C MYTHS IN ENGLISH UTERATUHE, 



The two friends left the camp and plunged at once into the 
midst of the enemy. They found no watch, no sentinels posted, 
but, all about, the sleeping soldiers strewn on the grass and among 
the wagons. The laws of war at that early day did not forbid a 
brave man to slay a sleeping foe, and the two Trojans slew, as they 
passed, such of the enemy as they could without exciting alann. 
In one tent Eiiryalus made prize of a helmet brilliant with gold 
and plumes. They had passed through the enemy's ranks without 
being discovered^ but now suddenly appeared a troop directly in 
front of them, which, under Volscens, their leader, were approach- 
ing the camp. The glittering helmet of Euryalus caught their 
attention, and Volscens hailed the two, and demanded who and 
whence they were. They made no answer, but plunged into the 
wood. The horsemen scattered in all directions to intercept their 
flight. Nisus had eluded pursuit and was out of danger, but Eury- 
alus being missing he turned back to seek him. He again entered 
the wood and soon came within sound of voices. Looking through 
the thicket he saw the whole band surrounding Euryalus with noisy 
questions. What should he do ! how extricate the youth I or 
would it be better to die with him? 

Raising his eyes to the moon which now shone dear, he said, 
"Goddess, fiivor my effort ! " and aiming his javelin at one of the 
leaders of the troop, struck him in the back and stretched hlin on 
the plain with a death-blow. In the midst of their amazement 
another weapon flew and another of the party fell dead. Volscens, 
the leader, ignorant whence the darts came, rushed sword in hand 
upon Euryalus. "Thou shalt pay the penally of both," he said, 
and would have plunged the sword into his bosom, when Nisus, 
who from his conce«ilment saw the peri! of his friend, rushed for- 
ward exclaiming, " 'Twas I, 'twas I ; turn your swords against rae, 
Ruiulians ; I did it ; he only followed me as a friend." While he 
spoke the sword fell, and pierced the comely bosom of Euryalus. 
His head fell over on his shouliier, like a flower cut down by the 
plough. Nisus rushed upon Volscens and plunged his sword into 
his body, and was himself slain on the instant by numberless blows^ 




THE WAR BETWEEN TROJANS AND LATINS. 363 

The Death of Mezentius. — ^neas, with his Etrurian allies, 
arrived on the scene of action in time to rescue his beleaguered 
camp ; and now the two armies being nearly equal in strength, the 
war began in good earnest. We cannot find space for all the 
details, but must simply record the fate of the principal char- 
acters. The tyrant Mezentius, finding himself engaged against 
his revolted subjects, raged like a wild beast. He slew all 
who dared withstind him, and put the multitude to flight wher- 
ever he appeared. At last he encountered j4ineas, and the 
armies stood still to see the issue. Mezenlius threw his spear, 
which striking ^-Eneas' shield glanced off and hit Aniores, — 
a Grecian by birth who had left Argos, his native city, and 
fiillowed Kvantlcr into Italy, The poet says of him with sim- 
ple pathos which has made the words proverbial, "He fell, un- 
happy, by a wound intended for another, looked up to the skies, 
and, dying, remembered sweet Argos." ' ^'^neas now in turn hurled 
his lance. It pierced the shield of Mezentius, and wounded him 
in the thigh. I^usus, his son, could not bear the sight, but rushed 
forward and inteqiosed himself, while the followers pressed round 
Mezentius and bore him away. /Eneas held his sword suspendeti 
over Lausus and delayed to strike, but the furious youth pressed 
on and he was compelled to deal the fatal blow. I^usus fell, and 
.'Eneas bent over him in pity. " Hapless youth," he said, "what 
can I do for thee worthy of thy praise? Keep those arras in 
which thou gloricst, and fear not but that thy body shall be restored 
to thy friends, and have due funeral honors." So saying he called 
the timid followers and delivered the body into their hands. 

Mezentius meanwhile had been borne to the river-side, and had 
washed his wound. Soon the news reached him of Lausus' death, 
and rage and despair supplied the place of strength. He mounted 
his horse and dashed into the thickest of the fight, seeking ^Eneas. 
Having found him, he rode round him in a circle, throwing one 
javelin after another, while ^neas stood fenced with his shield, 

1 Stemilur Infelix alieno volncre. caelumquet 
Aspich. el dulcis moricns remintsdtur Argos. — yEn, lo : 781. 



— ^ 




CLASSIC MYTHS IN ENGUSH UTEHATUAE. 

turning every way to meet them. At last after Mezentius had 
three times made the circuit, ^neas threw his lance directly ^B 
the horse's head. The animal fell with pierced temples, while ^* 
shout from both armies rent the skies. Mezentius asked do 
mercy, bui only that his body might be spared tlie insults o{ his 
revolted subjects, and be buried in the same grave with his sotk^ 
He received the fatal stroke not unprepared, and poured out hi^H 
life and his blood together. ' 

Of Pallas. — While these things were doing in one part of the 
field, in another Turnus encountered the youthful Pallas. The 
contest between champions so unequally matclied could not be 
doubtful. Pallas bore himself bravely, but fell by the lance of 
• Tumus. The victor almost relented when he saw the brave youth 
lying dead at his feet, and spared to use the privilege of a conqueror 
in despoiling him of his arms. The belt only, adorned with studs 
and carvings of gold, he took and clasped round his own body. 
The rest he remitted to the friends of the slain. ^m 

Of Camilla. — After the battle there was a cessation of arms foc^l 
some days to allow both armies to bury their dead. In this inter- 
val -4^neas challenged Turnus to decide the contest by single com- 
bat, but Turnus evaded the challenge. Another battle ensued, in 
which Camilla, the virgin warrior, was chiefly conspicuous. Her 
deeds of valor surpassed those of the bravest warriors, and many^ 
Trojans and Etruscans fell pierced with her darts or struck down^f 
by her battle-axe. At last an Etruscan named Aruns, who had 
watched her long, seeking for some advantage, observed hor^ 
pursuing a Hying enemy whose splendid armor offered a tempting^| 
prize. Intent on the chase she observed not her danger, and the 
javelin of Aruns struck her and inflicted a fatal wound. She fell 
and breathed her last in the arms of her attendant maidens.- But 
Diana, who beheld her fate, suffered not her sl.mghter to be 
unavenged. Aruns, as he stole away, glad but frightened, was 

I struck by a secret arrow, launched by one of the njTnphs of r)iana*s 

I train, and he died ignobly and unknown. 

^^ The Final Conflict, — At length the final conflict took place. 



place 




THE WAR BETWEEN TROJANS AND LATINS. 365 

between ^neas and Turnus, Turnus had avoided the contest as 
long as he could ; but at last impelled by the ill success of his arms, 
and by the murmurs of his followers, he braced himself to the con- 
flict. The outcome could not be doubtful. On the side of j4^neas 
were the expressed decree of destiny, the aid of his goddess-mother 
in every emergency, and impenetrable armor fabricated by Vulcan, 
at her request, for her son. Turnus, on the other hand, was deserted 
by his celestial allies, Juno having been expressly forbidden by 
Jupiter to assist him any longer. Turnus threw his lance, but it 
recoiled harmless from the shield of .'Eneas. The Trojan hero 
then threw his, which penetrating the shield of Turnus pierced his 
thigh. Then Turnus' fortitude forsook him, and he begged for 
mercy ; .^neas, indeed, would have spared his opponent's life, but 
at the instant his eye fell on the belt of Pallas, which Turnus had 
taken from the slaughtered youth. Instantly his rage revived, and 
exclaiming, " Pallas immolates thee with this blow," he thrust him 
through with his sword. 

Here the poem of the ^neid closes, and we are left to infer that 
/Eneas, having triumphed over his foes, obtained Lavinia for his 
bride. Tradition adds that he founded a city and called it Lavin- 
ium, after her name. His son lulus founded Alba Longa, which 
became the birthplace of Romulus and Remus and the cradle of 
Rome. 





§ 177* The Creation. — According to the Eddas there 
once no heaven above nor earth beneath, but only a bottorale&s 
deep, Ginungagap, and a world of mist, Niftheim, in which spranj: 
a fountain. Twelve rivers issued from this fountain, Vergelmef; 
and when they had flowed far from their source, they froze ioto 
ice, and one layer accumulating over another, the great deep was 
filled up. 

Southward from the world of mist was the world of light, 
Muspelheim. From this proceeded a warm wind upon the ice and 
melted it. The vapors rose in the air and formed clouds, from 
which sprang Ymir, the Frost giant and his progeny, and the cow 
Audhumbla, whose milk afforded nourishment and food to the 
giant. The cow got nourishment by licking the hoar frost and 
salt from the ice. While she was one day licking the salt stones 
there appeared at first the hair of some being, on the second day 
his whole head, and on the third the entire form endowed with 
beauty, agility, and power. This new being was a god, Bori, from 
whom and his wife, a daughter of the giant race, sprang Bor, the 
father of Odin, Vili, and Ve. They slew the giant Ymir, and out 
of his body formed the earth, of his blood the seas, of his bones 
the mountains, of his hair the trees, of his skull the heavens, 
of his brain clouds, charged with hail and snow. Of Ymi 
eyebrows the gods built a fence around this Midgard or mid-cai 
between Nilfleim and Muspelheim, destined to become the al 
of man. 

Odin then regulated the periods of day and night and 

■ For Records of None Mythology sre f 13 and Commentary. 





ATVTNS Of THE NORSE GODS, 



seasons by placing in the heavens the sun and moon, and 
appointing to them their respective courses. As soon as the sun 
began to shed its rays upon the earth, it caused the vegetable 
world to bud and sprout. Shortly after the gods (the Anse-race, 
Anses, Aesir, or Asa-folk) had created the world, they walked by 
the side of the sea, pleased with their new work, but found that 
it was still incomplete, for it was without human beings. They 
therefore took aa ashen spar and made a man out of it ; woman 
they made out of a piece of alder ; and they called the man Ash 
and the woman Hmbla, Odin then gave thein life and soul, Vili 
reason and motiun, and Vt bestowed upon them the senses, 
expressive features, and speech. Midgard was then given them 
as their residence, and they becam*; the progenitors of the human 
race. 

Yggdrasii; — The mighty ash tree Yggdrasil was supposed to sup- 
port the whole uuiversie. It sprang from the body of Ymir, — this 
earth, — and had three immense roots, extending one into Asgard 
(the dwelling of the gods), the other into Jotunheim (the abode of 
the giants), and the third to Niflheim (the region of darkness and 
cold). By the side of each of these roots is a spring, from which 
it is watered. The root that extends into Asgard is carefully 
tended by the three Noms, — goddesses who arc regarded as the 
dispensers of fate. They are Urdur (the past"), Verdandi (the 
present), SkuUI (the future). The spring at the Jotunheim side 
is Mimir's well, in ivhich wisdom and wit lie hidden, but that of 
Niflheim feeds the ad<ler, Nidhogge (darkness), which perpetually 
gnaws ai the root Four harts run across the branches of the tree 
and bite the buds ; they represent the four winds. Under the 
tree lies Ymir, and when he tries to shake off its weight the earth 
quakes. 

§ 178. Odin and his ValhallA. — To Asgard, the abode of the 
gods, access is gained only by crossing the bridge, Bifrost (the 
rainbow). Asgard — Oladsheiin for the gotis, Vingolf for the 
goddesses — consists of golden and silver palaces; but the most 
beautiful of these is Valhalla, the great hall of Odin. When seated 




.168 CLASSIC MYTltS IX ESGUSH UTBRATURE^ 

on his throne he overlooks heaven and earth. Beside him sits 
Frigga, his wife, whu knows all things. Upon his shoulders arc 
the ravens Hugin and Munin, — Thought and Memory, — who fly 
every day over the whole world, and on their return report to him 
what they have seen and heard. At his feet lie hib two wolves, Gcii 
and Freki, to whom Odin gives the meat that is set before him, 
for he himself stands in no need of food. Mead is for him both 
food and drink. He invented the Runic characters ; the decrees 
of fate, inscribed therein, it is the business of the Noms to engrave 
upon a metal shiekl. From Odin's name, spelt Woden, as it some- 
times is, comes Wednesday. 

Odin is frequently called Alfadur (All-father), but this name is 
sometimes used in a way that shows that the Scandinavians bad 
an idea of a deity superior to Odin, uncreated and eternal. In 
Valhalla Odin feasts with his chosen heroes, all thoSe who have 
fallen bravely in battle, for all who die a peaceful death are 
excluded. The flesh of the boar Serimnir Is served up to them, 
and is abundant for all. For although this boar is cooked cverv 
raomingf he becomes whole again every night. For drink the 
heroes are supplied abundantly with mead from the she-goat 
Heidrun. When the heroes are not feasting tliey amuse them- 
selves with fighting. Ever)' day they ride out into the court oi 
field and fight until they cut each other in pieces. This is thetr 
pastime \ but when meal time comes, they recover from their 
wounds and return to feast in Valhalla. 

The Valkyries. — The Valkyries are warlike virgins, moun 
upon horses and armed with helmets, shields, and spears. Odin 
is desirous of gathering many heroes in Valhalla that he may 
gloriously meet the giants in the day of the final contest ; he there- 
fore sends to every battle-field for the bravest of those who shall 
be slain. The Valkyries, Choosers of the Slain, are his messengers. 
When they ride forth on their errand, their armor sheds a weird 
flickering light over the northern skies, making what men call the 
.Aurora Borealis.* 

1 Gniy't ode. The Fatal Sisters, u founded on tliis superstition 



letr I 
leir J 

tJI 






MYTHS OF THE NORSE GODS, 

§ 179. The Other Gods. — Thor. the thundcrer, Odin's eldest 
son, is the strongest of gotis and men, and possesses three precious 
things. The first is a hammer, which both the Frost and the 
Mountain giants (Hrim-thursar and Berg-risar) know to their cost, 
when they see it hurled against them in the air, for it has split 
many a skull of their fathers and kindred. When thrown, it 
returns to his hand of its own accord. The second rare thing 
he possesses is the belt of strength. When he girds it about 
him his divine might is doubled. The third is his iron gloves, 
which he puis on whenever he would use his mallet efficiently. 
From Thor's name is derived our word Thursday. Vithar comes 
next in strength to Thor. 

Freyr presides over rain and sunshine and all the fruits of the 
earth. His sister Freya is the most propitious of the goddesses. 
She loves music, spring, and flowers, and the fairies of Elfheim. 
She is the goddess of love. Her day is Friday. 

Brag;! is the god of poetry, and his song records the deeds of 
warriors. His wife, Iduna, keeps in a box the apples which the 
gods, when they feel old age approaching, have only to taste of to 
become young again. 

Tyr, or Ziu, from whose name is derived our Tuesday, is the 
wrestler among the gods ; and preeminently the "god of battles." 

Balder, dearest of the Anses, is the god of sunlight, spring, 
and gladness. Hbder, his opposite, is the blind god of winter. 

Heimdall is the watchman of the gods, and is therefore placed 
on the borders of heaven to prevent the giants from forcing their 
way over the bridge Bifrost. He requires less sleep than a bird, 
and sees by night as well as by day a hundred miles around him. 
So acute is his ear that no sound escapes him, for he can even 
hear the grass grow, — and the wool on a sheep's back. 

Loki and his Progeny. — Loki is described as the calumniator 
of the gods and the contriver of all fraud and mischief. He is the 
son of Farbanti, the Charon of Norse mythology. He is hand- 
some and well made, but of fickle mood and evil disposition. 
Although of the giant race, he forced himself into the company of 



370 



CLASSIC MYTHS !N ENGUSH UTERATURE. 



% 



the gods; and seemed to take pleasure in bringing them into 
diificuUies, and in extricating them out of the danger by his 
cunning, wit, and skill. Loki has three children. The first is the 
wolf Fenris, the second the BCidgard Serpent| the third HeU 
(Death). The gods were not ignorant that these monsters were 
maturing, and that they would one day bring much evil upon 
gods and men. So Odin deemed it advisable to send one to 
bring them to him. When they came he threw the serpent in 
that deep ocean by which the earth is surrounded. But the 
monster has grown to such an enormous size that holding his tail 
in his mouth he encircles the whole earth. Hela he cast into 
Niflheim, and gave her power over nine worlds or regions, in 
which she distriliiitcs those who are sent to her; that is, all who 
die of sickness or old age. Her hall is called Elvidnir. Hunger 
is her table, Starvation her knife, Delay her man, Slowness her 
maid. Precipice her threshold, Care her bed, and fiummg- 
anguish forms the hangings of her apartments. She may easily be 
recognized, for her body is half flesh color and hah' blue, and she_ 
presents a stem and forbidding countenance. 

The wolf Fenris gave the gods a great deal of trouble befor^ 
they succeeded in chaining him. He broke the strongest fetters 
as if they were made of cobwebs. Finally the gods sent 
messenger to the mountain spirits, who made for them the chi 
called Gleipnir. It is fashioned of six things: the noise made 
by the footfall of a cat, the beards of women, the roots of stones, 
the breath of fishes^ the nerves (sensibilities) of bears, and the 
spittle of birds. When finished it was as smooth and soft as a 
silken string. But when the gods asked tht? wolf to suffer himself 
to be bound with this apparently slight ribbon, he suspected their 
design, fearing that it was made by enchantment. He therefore 
only consented to be bound with it upon condition that one of the 
gods put his hand in his (Fenris') mouth as a pledge that the 
band was to be removed again. Tyr alone had courage enough 
to do this. But when the wolf fonnrl that he could not break 
his fetters, and that the gods would not release him, he 



icrs^i 

»ai^^n 





MYTHS OF THE NORSE CODS. 



Fyr's hand. Tyr, consequently, has ever since remained one- 
handed. 

§ i8o. The Deeds of Thor. — When the gods were constructing 
their abodes, and had already finished Midgard and Valhalla, a 
certain anificer came and offered to build them a residence so 
well fortified that they should be perfectly safe from the incursions 
of the Krost giants and the giants of the mountains. But he 
demanded for his reward the goddess Freya, together with the 
sun and moon. The gods yielded to the terms, provided that the 
artificer would finish the whole work without any one's assist- 
ance, and all within the space of one winter. But if anything 
remained unfinished on the first day of summer, he should 
forfeit the recompense agreed on. On being told these terms, 
the artificer stipulated that he be allowed the use of his horse 
Svadilfari, and this request by the advice of Loki was conceded. 
He accordingly set to work on the first day of winter, and 
during the night let his horee draw stone for the building. The 
enormous size of the stones stnick the gods with astonishment, 
and they saw clearly that the horse did one half more of the toil- 
some work than his master. Their bargain, however, had been 
concluded and confirmed by solemn oaihs, for without these pre- 
cautions a giant would not have thought himself safe among the 
gods, — still less, indeed, if Thor should return from the expedition 
he had then undertaken against the evil demons. 

As the winter drew to a close, the building was far advanced ; 
and the bulwarks were sufficiently high and massive to render the 
place impregnable. In short, when it wanted but three days to 
summer, the only part that remained to be finished was the gate- 
way. Then sat the gods on their seats of justice, and entered 
into consultation, inquiring of one another who among them could 
have advised the rest to surrender Freya, or to plunge the heavens 
in darkness by permitting the giant to carry away the sun and the 
moon. 

They all agreed that no one but Loki, the author of so many 
evil deeds, could have given such counsel, and that he should 





CLASSIC MYTHS m Ef^GUSH LITERATURE. 



be put to a cruel death unless he contrived some way to prevent 
the artificer from completing his task and obtaining the stipulated 
recompense. They proceeded to lay hands on Loki, who in his 
fright proiuij^ed upon oath thai, let it cost him what it might, 
he would so manage matters that the man should lose his re- 
ward. That night when the man went with Svadilfari for building- 
stone, a mare suddenly ran out of a forest and began to neigh. 
The horse thereat broke loose and ran after the mare into the 
forest, obliging the man also to run after his horse, thus, therefore, 
between one and another the whole night was lost, so that at 
dawn the work had not made the usual progress. The man, see- 
ing that he must fail of completing his task, resumed his own 
gigantic stature ; and the gods now clearly perceived ihai it was 
in reality a mouuiLiin giant who had come amongst them. Feeling 
no longer bound by their oaths, they called on Thor, who imme- 
diately ran to their assistance, and lifting up his mallet, paid the 
workman his wages, not with the sun and moon, and not even by 
sending him back to Jotunheim, for with the first blow he shat- 
tered the giant's skull to pieces, and hurled him headlong into 
Niflheim. 

The Recovery of the Hammer. — Once upon a time it happened 
that Thor's hammer fell into the possession of the giant Thryra, 
who buried it eight fathoms deep under the rocks of Jotunheim. 
Thor sent Loki to negotiate with Thrymj but he could only prevail 
so far as to get the giant's promise to restore the weapon if Freya 
would consent to be his bride, Loki returned and reported 
the result of his mission, but the goddess of love was horrified 
at the idea of bestowing her charms on the king of the Frost 
giants. In this emergency Loki persuaded Thor to dress himself 
in Freya's clothes and accompany him to Jotunheim. Thryra 
received his veiled bride with due courtesy, but was greatly sur- 
prised at seeing her eat for her supper eight salmons and a full- 
grown ox besides other delicacies, washing the whole down with 
three tuns of mead. Loki, however, assured him that she had 
not tasted anything for eight long nights, so great w.is her desirt 



4 



4 






to see her lover, the renowned ruler of Jocanbeim. Thrym had 
at last the curiosity to peep under his bcide's rtU, but started 
back in affright, and demanded why Freya's ejrefaalb gitstened with 
fire. I^ki repeated the same excuse, aod the giant was aatisBed. 
He ordered the hammer to be brought in and laid oo the maiden's 
lap. lliereupon Thor threw off his disguise, grasped his redoabied 
weapon, and slaughtered Thrym and all his followers, 

Tbor's visit to Jdtunbeim. — One day Thor, with his servant 
Thialti, and accompanied by Loki, set out for the giants* country. 
Thialfi was of all men the swiftest of foot He bore Thor's 
wallet, containing their provisions. When night came on they 
found themselves in an immense forest, and searched on all sides 
for a place where they might pass the night. At last they came 
to a large halt, with an entrance that took the whole breadth of 
one end of the building. Here they lay dowTi to sleep, but 
towards midnight were alarmed by an earthquake which shook the 
whole edifice. Thor rising up called on his companions to seek 
with him a place of safety. On the right they found an adjoining 
chamber, into which the others entered, but Thor remained at the 
doorway with his mallet in his hand, prepared to defend himself, 
whatever might happen. A terrible groaning was heani during 
the night, and at dawn of day Thor went out and found l)'ing near 
him a huge giant, still snoring in the way that had alarmed them. 
For once Thor was afraid to use his mallet, and as the giant soon 
waked up, Thor contented himself with simply asking his name. 

" My name is Skr>-mir," said the giant, " but I need not ask thy 
name, for I know that thou art the god Thor. But what has 
become of my glove?" Thor then perceived that wh.it ihcy had 
taken overnight for a hall was the giant's glove, and the chamber 
where his two companions had sought refuge was the thumb. 
Skrymir then proposed that they should travel in company, and 
Thor consenting, they sat down to eat their breakfast. When 
they had done, Skrymir packed all the provisions into one wallet, 

£iver his shoulder, and strode on before* them, taking such 
)us strides that they were hard put to it to keep up with 




374 



CLASS/ C MYTHS IN ENGLISH LITERATURE. 



him. So they travelled the whole day, and at dusk, Skrymir chose 
a place for them to pass the night in under a large oak tree. 
Skrymir then told them he would lie down to sleep. " But take 
ye the wallet/' he added, "and prepare your supper.*' 

Skrymir soon fell asleep and began to snore strongly, but when 
Thor tried to open the wallet, he found the giant had tied it up so 
tight he could not untie a single knot, .^t last Thor became 
wroth, and grasping his mallet with both hands he struck a furious 
blow on the giant's head. Skrymir awakening merely asked 
whether a leaf had not fallen on his he.id, and whether they had 
supped and were ready to go to sleep. Thor answered that they 
were just going to sleep, and so saying went and laid himself 
down under another tree. But sleep came not that night to llior, 
and when Skrymir snored again so loud that the forest reechoed 
with the noise, he arose, and grasping his mallet launched it with 
such force at the giant's skull that it made a deep dint in it 
Skrymir, awakening, cried out, *' What's the matter? are there any 
birds perched on this tree? I felt some moss from the branches 
fall on my head. How fares it with thee, Thor?" But Thor 
went away hastily, saying that he had just then awoke, and that as 
it was only midnight, there was stili lime for sleep. He however 
resolved that if he had an opportunity of striking a third blow, it 
should setde all matters between them. A little before daybreak 
he perceived that Skrymir was again fast asleep, and again grasping 
his mallet, he dashed it with such violence that it forced its way 
into the giant's skull up to the handle. But Skrymir sat up. and 
stroking his cheek said, " An acorn fell on my head. What 1 Art 
thou awake, Thor? Methinks it is time for us to get up and 
dress ourselves ; but you have not now a long way before you to 
the city called Utgard. I have heard you whispering to one 
another that I am not a man of small dimensions; but if you 
come to Utgard you will see there many men much taller than 
I. Wherefore I advise you, when you come there, not to make 
too much of yourselves, for the followers of Utgard-Loki will not 
brook the boasting of such little fellows as you are. You must 





MYTHS OF THE J^ORSE CODS. 



take the road that leads eastward, mine lies northward, so we 
must part here." 

Hereupon he threw his wallet over his shoulders, and turned 
away from them into the forest, and Thor had no wish to stop him 
or to ask for any more of his company. 

Thor and his companions proceeded on their way, and towards 
noon descried a city standing in the middle of a plain. It was so 
lofty that they were obliged to bend their necks quite back on 
their shoulders in order to see to the top of it. On arriving they 
entered the city, and seeing a large palace before them with the 
door wide open, they went in, and found a number of men of 
prodigious stature, sitting on benches in the hall. Going further, 
they came before the king Utgard-Loki, whom they saluted with 
great respect. The king, regarding them with a scornful smile, 
said, " If I do not mistake me, that stripling yonder must be the 
god 'I'hor." Then addressing himself to Thor, he said, " Perhaps 
thou mayst he more than thou appearesi to be. What are the 
feats that thou and thy fellows deem yourselves skilled in, for no 
one is permitted to remain here who does not, in some feat or 
other, excel all other men? " 

"The feat that I know," said Loki, "is to eat quicker than any 
one else, and in this I ara ready to give a proof against any one 
here who may choose to compete with me." 

"That will indeed be a feat," said Utgard-Loki, " if thou per- 
formest what thou promisest, and it shall be tried forthwith." 

He then ordered one of his men who was sitting at the farther 
end of the bench, ^nd whose name was lx>gi, to come fons'ard and 
try his skill with Loki. A trough filled with meat having been 
set on the hall floor, Ix)ki placed himself at one end and Logi at 
the other, and each of them began to eat as fast as he could, imti! 
they met in the middle of the trough. But it was found that Loki 
had only eaten the flesh, while his adversary had devoured both 
flesh and bone, and the trough to boot. All the company there- 
fore adjudged that Loki was vanquished. 

Utgard-Loki then asked what feat the young man who accom- 




376 



CL,4SS/C MYTHS IN ENGUSH UTERATVRE. 



panied Thor could perform. Thialfi answered that he would run 
a race with any one who might be matched against him. The 
king observed that skill in running was something to boast of, but 
if the youth would win the match he must display great agility. 
He then arose and went with all who were present to a plain 
where there was good ground for running on, and calling a young 
man named Hugi, bade him run a match with Thialfi. In the 
first course Hugi so much outstripped his competitor that he 
turned back and met him nut fur from the starting- place. Then 
they ran a second and a third time, but Thi;ilfi met with no better 
success. 

Utgard-Loki then asked Thor in what feats he would choose 
to give proofs of that prowess for which he was so famous. Thor 
answered that he would try a drinking-malch with any one. 
Utgard-Loki bade his cupbearer bring the large horn which his 
followers were obliged to empty when they had trespassed in any 
way against the law of the feast. The cupbearer having presented 
it to Thor, Utgard-Loki said, '* Whoever is a good drinker will 
empty that horn at a single draught, though most men make two 
of it, but the most puny drinker can do it in three." 

Thor looked at the horn, which seemed of no extraordinary 
size, though somewhat long ; however, as he was very thirsty, he 
set it to his lips, and without drawing breath, pulled as long and 
as deeply as he could, th:U he might not be obliged to make a 
second draught of it ; but when he set the horn down and looked 
in, he could scarcely perceive that the liquor was diminished. 

After taking breath, Thor went to it again with all his might, 
but when he took the horn from his mouth, it seemed to hira that 
he had drank rather less than before, although the horn could 
now be carried without spilling. 

"How now, Thor," said Utgard-Loki, "thou must not spare 
thyself; if thou meanest to drain the horn at the third draught 
thou must pull deeply ; and I must needs say that thou wilt not 
be called so mighty a man here as thou art at home if thou 
showest no greater prowess in other feats than methinks will be 
shown in this." 




MYTHS OF THE NORSE GODS. 



Thor, full of wrath, again set the horn to his lips, and did his 
best to empty it j but on looking in found the liquor was only a 
little lower, so he resolved to make no further attempt, but gave 
back the horn to the cupbearer. 

" 1 now see plainly," said Utgard-Loki, " that thou art not quite 
so stout as we thought thee; but wilt thou try any other feat? — 
though methinks thou art not likely to bear any prize away with 
thee hence." 

"What new trial hast ihou to propose?" said Thor. 

"We have a very trifling game here," answered Utgard-Loki, 
"in which we exercise none but children. It consists in merely 
lifting my cat from the ground ; nor should I have dared to 
mention such a feat to the great Thor if I had not already ob- 
served that thou art by no means what we took thee for." 

As he finished speaking a large gray cat sprang on the hall 
floor. Thor put his hand under the cat's belly and did his utmost 
to raise him from the floor, but the cat, bending his back, had, 
notwithstanding all Thor*s efforts, only one of his feet lifted up, 
seeing which Thor made no further attempt. 

"This trial has turned ont," said Utgard-Loki, "just as I 
imagined it would. The cat is large, but Thor is tittle in com- 
parison to our men." 

" Little as ye call mc," answered Thor, " let me see who among 
you will come hither now I am in wrath and wrestle with me." 

"I see no one here," said Utgard-Loki, looking at the men 
sitting on the benches, " who would not think it beneath him to 
wrestle with ihee ; let somebody, however, call hither that old 
crone, my nurse Elli, and let Thor wrestle with her if he will. 
She has thrown to the ground many a man not less strong than 
this Thnr is." 

A toothless old woman then entered the hall, and was told by 
Utgard-Ix)ki to uke hold of Thor. The tale is shortly told. The 
more Thor tightened his hold on the crone the firmer she stood. 
At length, after a very violent struggle, Thor began to lose his 
footing, and was finally brought down upon one knee. Utgard- 




378 



CLASSIC A/yri/s in English literature^ 



Loki then told lliem to desist, adding that Thor had now no 
occasion to ask any one else in the hall to wrestle with him, and 
it was also getting Ute ; so he showed Thor and his companions 
to their seats, and ihcy passed the night there in good cheer. 

The next morning at break of <liy, Thor and his companions 
dressed themselves and prepared for their departure. Utgard- 
Loki ordered a table to be set for them, on which there was 
no lack of victuals or drink. After the repast Utgard-Lxjki led 
them to the gate of the city, and on parting asked Thor how 
he thought his journey had turned out, and whether he had met 
with any men stronger than himself. Thor told him that he 
could not deny but that he had brought great shame on himself. 
" And what grieves me most,'* he added, " is that ye will call me 
a person of little worth/' 

*' Nay," said Utgard-Loki, " it behooves me to tell thee the 
truth, now thou art out of the city, which so long as I live and 
have my way thou shalt never enter again. And, by my troth, 
had I known beforehaini, that thou hadst so much strength in 
ihee, and wouldst have brought me so near to a great mishap 
I would not have suffered thee to enter this time. Know then 
that I have all along deceived thee by my illusions ; first in the 
forest, where I tied up the wallet with iron wire so that thou 
couldst not untie it. After this thou gavest me three blows with 
thy mallet ; the first, though the least, would have ended my days 
had it fallen on me, but I slipped aside, and thy blows fell on the 
mountain, where thou wih find three glens, one of them remarkably 
deep. These are the dints made by thy mallet. I have made 
use of similar illusions in the contests ye have had with my 
followers. In the first, Loki, like hunger itself, devoured all that 
was set before him, but Logi was in reality nothing else than Fire, 
and therefore consumed not only the meat, but the trough which 
held it. Hugi, with whom Thialfi contended in running, was 
Thought, and il was impossible for Thialfi to keep pace with that. 
When thou in thy turn didst attempt to empty the horn, thou 
didst perform, by ray troth, a deed so marvellous, that had I not 




MYTI/S OF THE /^OUSE GODS, 



seen it myself, I should never have believed it. For one end 

of that horn reached the sea, which thou wast not aware of, but 
when thou coraest to the shore thou wilt perceive how much the 
sea has sunk by thy draughts. 'Hiou didst perform a feat no less 
wonderful by lifting up the cat, and to tell thee the tnjth, when 
we saw ihat one of his paws was off the floor, we were <dl of us 
terror-stricken, for what thou tookest for a cat was in reality the 
Midgard serpent that encompasseth the earth, and he was so 
stretched by thee^ that he was barely long enough to enclose ii 
between his head and tail. Thy wrestling with Elli was also a 
most astonishing feat, for there was never yet a man, nor ever 
will be, whom Old Age, for such in fact was Elli, will not sooner 
or later lay low. But now, as we are going to part, let me tell 
thee that it will be better for both of us if thou never come near 
me again, for shouldst thou do so, I shall again defend myself by 
other illusions, so that thou wilt only lose thy labor and get no 
fame from the contest with me." 

On hearing these words Thor in a rage laid hold of his mallei 
and would have hunched it at him, but Utgard-Loki had dis- 
appeared, and when Thor would have returned to the city to 
destroy it, he found nothing around him but a verdant plain. 

§ i8i. The Sword of Freyr. — Kreyr also possessed a wonder- 
ful weapon, a sword which would of itself spread a field with 
carnage whenever the owner desired it. Freyr parted with this 
sword, but was less fortunate than Thor and never recovered it. 
It happened in this way : Freyr once mounted Odin's throne, 
from whence one can see over the whole universe, and looking 
roimd saw far o(T in the giant's kingdom a beamiful maid, at the 
sight of whom he was stnick with sudden sadness, insomuch that 
from that moment he could neither sleep, nor drink, nor speak. 
At last Skirnir, his messenger, drew his secret from him, and 
undertook to get him the maiden for his bride, if he would give 
him his sword as a reward. Freyr consented and gave him the 
sword, and Skimir set off on his journey and obtained the 
maiden's promise that within nine nights she would come to a 





380 



CLASSIC MYTHS IN ENGUSfl LITERATURE. 



certain place and tliere wed Freyr. Skirnir having reported the 
success of his errand,. Freyr exclaimed, — 

** Long is one night. 
Long arc two nights, 
But how shall I huUl out threef 
Shorter hath seemed 
A month to me oft 
Than or this longing time the half." 

So Freyr obtained Gerda, the most beautiful of all wonaen, for 
his wife, but he lost his stvord. 

§ 182. The Death of Balder. — Rildcr the Good, having been 
tormented with terrible dreams indicating that his life was in 
peril, told them to the assembled gods, who resolved to conjure 
all things to avert from him the threatened danger. Then Frigga, 
the wife of Odin, exacted an oath from fire and water, from iron 
and all otltcr mcials, from stones, trees, diseases, beasts, birds, 
poisons, and creeping things, that none of them would do any 
harm to Hilder. Odin, not satisfied with all this, and feeling 
alarmed for the fate of his son, dciermined to consult the 
prophetess Angerbode, a giantess, raodier of Fenris, Hela, and the 
Midgard Serpent. She was dead, and Odin was forced to seek 
her in Mela's dominions. 

But the other gods, feeling that what Frigga had done was 
quite sufficient, amused themselves with using Balder as a mark, 
some hurling darts at him, some stones, while others hewed at 
him with their swords and battle-axes ; for do what they would 
none of them could harm him. And this became a favorite 
pastime with them and was regarded as an honor shown to Balder. 
But when Loki beheld the scene he was sorely vexed that Balder 
was not htirt. Assuming, therefore, the shape of a woman, he 
went to Fensalir, the mansion of Frigga. That goddess, when she 
saw the pretemled woman, inquired of her if she knew what the 
gods were doing at their meetings. She replied that they were 
throwing darts and stones at Balder, without being able to hurt 
him. "Ay," said Frigga, ** neither stones, nor sticks, nor any- 




thing else can hurt Balder, for I have exacted an oath from all of 
thera.** " What,** exclaimed the woman, " have all things sworn to 
spare Balder?" "All things," replied Fngga, "except one little 
shrub that grows on the eastern side of Valhalla, and is called 
Mistletoe, and which I thought too young and feeble to crave an 
oath from." 

As soon as Loki heard this he went away, ami resuming his 
natural shape, cut off the mistletoe, and repaired to the place 
where the gods were assembled. There he found iloder standing 
apart, without partaking of the sports, on account of his blindness, 
and going up to him, said, '* Why dost thou not also throw 
something at Balder?" 

"Because I am blind," answered Hoder, "and see not where 
Balder is, and have moreover nothing to throvv." 

"Come, then," said Loki, *' do like the rest, and show honor 
to Balder by throwing this twig at him, and I will direct thy arm 
toward the place where he stands." 

Hoder then took the mistletoe, and under the guidance of 
Loki, darted it at Balder, who, pierced through and through, fell 
down lifeless. Never was there witnessed, cither among gods or 
men, a more atrocious deed. 

So on the floor lay Balder dead; and round ^ 

Lay thickly strewn swords, axes, darts, and speart, 

Which all the gods in sport had idly thrown 

At Balder, whura no weapon pierced or clove; 

But in his breast stood fixt the fatal bough 

Of mistletoe, which Luk the accuser gave 

To H5der, and unwitlinK Iloder threw — 

*Gainst that ali^n-: had Balder's life no charm. 

And all the gods and all the heroes came, 

And stood round Balder on the bloody floor, 

Weeping and wailing; and Valhalla rang 

Up to its golden roof with sohs and cries; 

And on the tables stood the untasted meats, 

And in the horns and gold-rimmed skulls the wine. 

And now would night have fall'n and found them yet 

Wailing; but otherwise was Odin's will 

I From Matthew Arnold'* " Bnlder Dead." 



382 



CLASSIC MYTHS fN ENGLISH LlTERATVRe. 



He bade them not to spend themselves in unavailing grief, for 
Balder, though the brightest god of heaven, and best beloved, had 
but met the doom ordained at his birth by the Norns. Rather 
let the funeral jiile be prepared, and let vengeance on Loki be 
left to Odin himself So speaking Odin mounted his horse 
Sleipnir and rode away to Lidskialf; and the gods in Valhalla 
returned to the feast : — 

And before each the cooks, who served them, placed 
New messes of the boar S«rimnif's flesh, 
And the Valkyries crowned their horns with mead. 
So they, with pent-up hearts and tearless eyes. 
Wailing no mure, in silence ate and drank. 
While twiligbl ffU, and sacred night came on. 

But the blind Hoder, leaving the gods, went by the sea to 
Fensalir, the house of Frigga, mother of the gods, to ask her what 
way there might be of restoring Balder to life and heaven. Might 
Hela perchance surrender Balder, if Hoder himself should take 
his place among the shades? " Nay," replied Frigga, ** no way is 
there but one, that the first god thou meelest on tlie return to 
Asgard, take Sleipnir, Odin's horse, and ride o'er the bridge 
Bifrost where is Hcimdall's watch, past Midgard fortress, down 
the dark unknown road to Hel, and there entreat the goddess 
Hela that she yield Balder back to heaven." Hoder returning 
cityward met Hermod, swiftest of the gods, — 

Nor yet could Hemiod sec his brother's face, 
For it grew dark; but Hoder touched his arm. 
And as a spray honeysuckle flower 
Brmhes across a tired traveller's face 
Who shuffles through the drcp dew-moisten'd dost 
On a May evening, in the darkened lanes, 
And starts him, that he thinks a ghost went by, 
So Hfider hrush'd by Hermod's side, and said : 

"Take Sleipnir, Hermod, and set forth with dawn 
To Hela's kingdom, In ask Balder back; 
And they shall be thy g;uides who have the power." 

He spake, and brushed soft !>y and disappeared. 




And Hennod gazed into the night, and said: 

'• Who is it utters through the rlark his h«t 
So quickly, and will wait for no reply? 
The voice was like the unhappy Uoder's voice. 
Howbeit I will see, and do his hest; 
For there rang note divine in that conimand." 

So speaking, the fleet-fooled Hermwl came 
Home, anrl lay down tu sleep in his uwn house; 
And all the gods lay duvvn in their own homes. 
And Modcr, too, came home distraught with grief, 
Loathing to meet, at dawn, the other gods; 
And he went in, and shut the door, and tixt 
His sword upright, and fell on it, and died. 

But from the hill of Lidskialf Odin rose. 
The throne, from which his eye surveys the world; 
And mounted SLcipnir, and in darkness rode 
To Asgard. And the stars came out in heaven. 
High over Asgard, to light home the king. 
But fiercely Odin gallop'd, moved in heart: 
And swift to Asgarti, to the gate he came. 
And terribly the hoofs of Sleipnir rang 
Along the flinty (loor of Asgar^l streets, 
And the gods tremliled on their golden beds 
Hearing the wrathful father coming homf — 
For dread, for like a whirlwind Odin came. 
And to Valhalla's gate he rode, anrl Ifft 
SlcipTiir; and Sleipnir went to his own stall; 
And in Valhalla Odin laid him down. 

That night in a vision appeared Balder to Nanna his wife, 

comforting her : — 

" Vcs, and E fain would altogether ward 

Death from thy head, and with the gods in heaven 

Prolong thy life, though not by thee desired^ 

But right bars tics, not only thy desire. 

Yet dreary, Nanna, is the life (hey lead 

In that dim world, in Hcla's mouldering realm; 

And doleful are the ghosts, the troops of dead, 

Whom Hcia with austere control presides. 

For of the race of gods is no one there 

Save me alone, and Hela, solemn queenj 




For all the nobler souls of mortal men 
On battle held have met tlieir death, and now 
Feast in Valhalla, in my father's hall; 
Only the inglorious sort are (here below — 
llie old, the cowards, and the weak are there, 
Men spent by sickness, or obscure decay. 
But even there, O Naniia, we might fmd 
Some solace in each other's look and speech, 
Wamlering together through that gloomy world. 
And talking of the life wc led In heaven, 
While we yet lived, among the other gods." 

He spake, and straight his lineaments began 
To fade; and Nanna in her sleep stretched oat 
Her arms towards hini with a cry, hut he 
Mournfully shook bis head and disappeared. 
And as the woodman sees a Uule smoke 
Hang in the air. alicld, and disappear. 
Su balder faded in the night away. 
And Nanna on her bed sank back; but then 
Frca, the mother of the gods, with stroke 
Painless and swift, set free ht-r airy soul, 
Which took, on Balder's track, the way below; 
And instantly the sacred mom appeared. 



With the morn Hermod, mounting Sleipnir, set out on hia 
mission. For the space of nine days and as many nights he rode 
through deep glens so dark that he could not discern anything, 
until he arrived at the river Gyoll, which he passed over on a 
bridge covered with glittering gold. The maiden who kepi the 
bridge asked him his name and lineage, telling him that the day 
before five bands of dead persons had ridden over the bridge, 
and did not shake it as much as he alone. " But," she added, 
"thou hast not death's hue on thee; why then ridest thou here 
on the way to Hel ? '* 

" I ride to Hel," answered Hennod, " to seek Balder. Hasi 
thou perchance seen him pass this way?" 

She replied, *' Balder bath ridden over Gyoll's bridge, and 
yonder lieth the way he took to the abodes of death." 

Hermod pursued his journey until he came to the barred galea 




MYTHS OF THE NORSE GODS. 



of Hel. Here he alighted, girthed his saddle tighter, and re- 
mounting clapped both spurs to his horse, which cleared the gate 
by a tremendous leap without touching it. Hermod then rode on 
to the palace, where he found his brother Balder occupying the 
most distinguished seat in the hall, and passed the night in his 
company. The next morning he be&ought He!a to let Balder 
ride home with him, assuring her that nothing but lamentations 
were to be heard among the gods. Hela answered that it should 
now be tried whether KnUler Wvis so beloved as he was said to be. 
"If, therefore/' she added, "all things in the woild, both living 
and lifeless, weep for him, then shall he return to life ; but if any 
one thing speak against him or refuse to weep, he shall be kept 
in Hd." 

Hermod then rode back to Asgard and gave an account of alt 
he had heard and witnessed. 

The gods upon this despatched messengers throughout the 
world to beg everything to weep in order that Balder might be 
delivered from Hel. All things very willingly complied with this 
request, both men and every other living being, as well as earths, 
and stones, and trees, and metals, just as we have all seen these 
things weep when they are brought from a cold place into a hot 
one. 

Then the messengers returned, — 

. , , And tbey rode home together, through the wood 
Of Jarnvid, which to cast of MiHgard lies 
Bordcrini; the giants where the trees are iron; 
There in the wood before a cave they came, 
Where sate in the cave's mouth a sltinny hag. 
Toothless and olJ; she gibes the passers-by. 
Thok is she called, but now Lok wore het shape; 
She greeted them the first, and laughed and said: 
"Ye gods, guod lack, is it so dull in heaven 
That ye come pleasuring to Thok's iron wood? 
Lovers of change, ye are, fastidious sprites. 
Look, as in some boor*s yard, a swect-brcath'd cow, 
Whose mangfr is sraflfcd full of good fresh hay, 
Snufls at it daintily, and stoops her bead 




CLASSIC AfYTHS AV ENGUSH UTEfiATURE. 

To chew Ihe straw^ her liHer at her feet — 

So ye grow squeamiali, gods, and sniff at heaven ! " 

She spake, but Hermml answered her and said, 
"Thok, nut fur gilics we come; we come for tear*. 
Bahler is dead, and Hcia holds her prey. 
But will resti^re, if alt things give him tears. 
Begrudge not thine! to all was Balder dear." 

'I^hen, with a louder laiigh, the hag replied: 
••Is Balder dead? and do ye conie for tears? 
Thok with dry eyes will weep u'cr Boldcr's pyre. 
Weep him all other things, if weep Ihcy will — 
I weep him nul 1 let Hela keep her prey." 

She spake, and to the cavern's depth she fled, 
Mocking; and Hermod knew their toil wa« vain.' 



So was Haider preventetl fruui rclurnii)g to Asgard. 

The Funeral of Balder. — The gods took up the dead body 
and bore it to the sea-shore where stood Balder's ship Hringham, 
which passed for the largest in the world. Balder's dead body 
was put on the funeral piie, on board the ship; and the body of 
Nanna was burned on the same pile with her husband's. There 
was a vast concourse of various kinds of people at Balder's obse- 
quies. First came Odin accompanied by Frigga, the Valkyries, 
and his ravens ; then Freyr in his car drawn by GuUinbursli, the 
boar ; Heimdall rode his horse Gulltopp, and Freya drove in her 
chariot drawn by cats. There were also a great many Frost giants 
and giants of the mountain present. Balder's horse was led to 
the pile fully caparisoned and consumed in the same flames with 
his master. 

But I^ki did not escape his merited punishment. When he 
saw how wroth the gods were, he fled to the mountain, and there 
built himself a hut with four doors, so that he could sec every 
approaching danger. He invented a net to catch the fishes, such 
as fishermen have used since his time. But Odin found out his 
hiiling-plare and the gods assembled to take him. He, seeing 
this, changed himself into a salmon, and In* hid among the 

> From Mailhcw Arnold's " Balder Dead," 





MYTHS Of THE NORSE GODS. 

stones of tlic brook. Bui the gods took his net and dragged 
the brook, and Loki finding he must be caught, tried to leap 
over the net; but Thor caught him by the tail and compressed it 
so, that salmons ever since have had that part remarkably fine and 
thin. They bound him with chains and suspended a serpent over 
his head, whose venom falls upon his face drop by drop. His 
wife Siguna sits by his side and catches the drops as they fall, in a 
cup ; but when she carries it away to empty it, the venom falls 
upon Loki, which makes him howl with horror, and writhe so that 
the whole earth shakes. 

§ 183. The Elves. — The Edda mentions another class of 
beings, inferior to the gods, but still possessed of great power; 
these were the Elves. The white spirits, or Elves of Light, 
were exceedingly fair, more brilliant than the sun, and clad in 
garments of a delicate and transparent texture. 'I'hey loved the 
light, were kindly disposed to mankind, and generally appeared 
as fair and lovely children. Their country was called Elfhcim, 
and w,is the domain of Kreyr, in whose sunlight they always sported. 

'V\\t black or night elves, ugly, long-nosed dwarfs, of a dirty 
brown color, appeared only at night. They avoided the sun as 
their most deadly enemy, because his beams changed them 
immediately into stones. Their language was the echo of soli- 
tudes, and their dwelling-places subterranean caves and clefts. 
They were supposed to have come into existence as maggots 
produced by the decaying flesh of Vmir's body. They were after- 
wards endowed by the gods with a human form and great under- 
standing. They were particularly distinguished for a knowledge 
of the mysterious powers of nature, and for the runes which they 
carved and explained. They were the most skilful artificers of all 
created beings, and worked in metals and in wood. Among their 
most noted works were Thor's hammer, and the ship Skidbladnir, 
which they gave to Freyr, and which was so large that it could 
contain all the deities with their war and household implements, 
but so skilfully was it wrought that when folded together it could 
be put into a side pocket 




3SS CLASS/C MYTHS m ENGUS/f LITERATURE. 

\ 184. Ragnarok, the Twilight of tlie Gods. — It was a finn 
belief of the Northern nations that a time would come when all 

the visible creation, (he gods of Valhalla and Niflheim, ihc in- 
habitants of Jotunheim, Elfheim, and Midgard, together with 
their habitations, would be destroyed. The fearful day of de- 
struction will not, however, be without warning. First will come 
a triple winter, during which snow will fall from the four comers 
of the heavens, the frost be severe, the wind piercing, the weather 
tempestuous, and the sun impart no gladness. Three such winters 
will pass without being tempered by a single summer. Three other 
like winters will follow, during which war and discord will spread 
over the universe. The earth itself will be afraid and begin to 
tremble, the sea leave its basin, the heavens tear asunder \ men 
will perish in great numbers, and the eagles of the air feast upon 
their still quivering bodies. The wolf Fenris will now break his 
bands, the Midgard serpent rise out of his bed in the sea. and 
Lokij leleased from hts bonds, will join the enemies of the gods. 
Amidst the general devastation the sons of Muspelhcim will rush 
forth under their leader Surter, before and behind whom are flames 
and burning tire. Onward they ride over Bifrost, the rainbow 
bridge, which breaks under the horses* hoofs. But they, disre- 
garding its fall, direct their course to the battle-field called Vigrid. 
Thither also repair the wolf Fenris, the Midgard serpent, Loki 
with all the followers of Hela, and the Frost giants. 

Hcimdall now stands up and sounds the Giallar horn to assem- 
ble the gods and heroes for the contest. The gods advance, led 
on by Odin, who cng;iging the wolf Fenris, falls a victim to the 
monster. Fenris is, in turn, slain by Vithar, Odin*s son. Thor 
wins great renown by killing the Midgard serpent, but, recoiling, 
falls deadj suffocated with the venom which the dying monster 
vomits over him. Loki and Heimdall meet and fight till they 
both are slain. The gods and their enemies having fallen in 
battle, Surter, who has killed Freyr, darts fire and flames over the 
world, and the universe is consumed. The sun grows dim, the 
earth sinks into the ocean, the stars fall from heaven, and time 
is no more. 





MYTHS Of THE NORSE GODS. 



389 



After this Alfadur (the Ahnighty) will cause a new heaven and 
a new earth to arise out of the sea, The new earth, filled with 
abundant supplies, will produce its fruits without labor or care. 
Wickedness and misery will no more be known, but the gods and 
men will live happily to^^eiher. 

This twilight of the gods is aptly described in a conversation 
held between Balder and Hermod, after Hermod has a second 
time ridden to Hel : — 



And the fleet-footed Hermod made reply : — ' 

"Thau hast then all the suUce dcalh allows. 

Esteem and function; and so far \% well. 

Yet here thou licsl, Haider, underground, 

Rusting for ever; and the years roll od. 

The generations pass, the ages grow. 

And bring us nearer to the final day 

When from the south shall march the fiery band 

And cross the bridge of heaven, with Lok for guide. 

And Tcnris at his heel with broken chain; 

While from the east the giant Rymer steers 

His ship, and the great serpent makes to land; 

And all are marshall'd in one llaming square 

Against the gods, upon the plains of heaven. 

I mourn thee, that thou canst not help us then." 

He spake ; but Balder answered him, and said:^ 
"Mourn nut for me : Mourn, Hermod, for the gods; 
Mourn for the men on earth, the gods in heaven. 
Who live, and with their eyes shall sec (hat day! 
The day will come, when fall shall Asgard's toweri. 
And Odin, and his sons, tlic seed of Heaven ; 
But what were I, to save ihtm in that hour? 
If strength might save them, could not Odin save, 
My father, anri his pri<le, the warrior Thor, 
Vidar the silent, the impcluuus Tyr? 
I, what were I, when these can nought avail? 
Yet, doubtless, when the day of baitle comes. 
And the two h(>sts are marshaUVI, and in heaven 
The gold en 'Crested cock shall sound alarm, 



1 From Matthew Arnold's " Balder Dead.' 



390 



ClASSrC AfVTNS IN ESGUSH UTERATVUE. 



And his black brother-bird from hence reply. 

And bucklers clash, and spears begin to pour — 

Ix>nging; will stir within my breast, though vain. 

But not to me so ^evous as, 1 know. 

To other godi it were, is my enforced 

Absence from fields where I could nothing aid; 

For I am lung since weary of your storm 

Of carnage, and And, Mermod. in yoar life 

Something too much of war and broils, which make 

Life one perpetual tight, a bath of blood. 

Mine eyes are duzy with the arrowy hail ; 

Mine ears arc stunned with bluws, and sick fur calm. 

Inactive, therefore, let me lie in gloom. 

Unarmed, inglurlous ; 1 attend the course 

Of age«, and my late return to light. 

In times less alien to a spirit miUI, 

In new rc-cnvcrerl seats, the happier day." 

He spake ; and the fleet Hermod thus replied: — 
" Brother, what scats are these, what happier day? 
Tell me, that I may ponder it when gone." 

And the ray-crowned Balder answered him : — 
" Far 10 the south, beyond the blue, there spreads 
.\nother heaven, the boundless — no one yet 
Hath reached it ; there hereafter shall arise 
The second Asgard, with another name. 
Thither, when o'er this present earth and heavens 
The tempest of the latter days hath swept. 
And they from sight have disappeared and sunk, 
Shall a small remnant of the gods repair ; 
Hcider and I shall join them from the grave. 
There re-asscmljling we shall see emerge 
From the brighf ocean at our feet an earth 
More fresh, more verdant than the last, with fruits 
Self-springing, and a scc<i of man preserved, 
\i\\<i then shall live in peace, as now in war. 
But we in heaven shall find again with joy 
The ruin'd palaces of Odin, seats 
Familiar, halls where we have supp'd of old, 
Ke-enter them with wonder, never fill 
Our eyes with gazing, and rebuild with tears. 
And w'e shall tread once more the welUknown plain 





MYTHS OF THE NORSE GODS, 

Of Ilia, atul among the grass shall And 
The golden dice wherewith wc played of yore; 
And that shall bring to mind the former life 
And pastime of the gods — the wise discourse 
Of Odin, the delights of other dajrs. 

Hermnd. pray that thou may'st join us thenl 
Such for the future is my hope ; mcanwlule, 

1 rest the thrall of Hela, and endure 

Death, and the gloom which round me even now 
Thickens, and to inner gulph recalls. 
Farewell, for lunger speech is ni>t allowed." 




V 





CLASSIC MYTHS AV ENCUSff UTBRATURE. 




CHAPTER XXXI. 



MYTHS OF NORSE AND CUD GERMAN HEROES 



§ 185. The Saga of Ifae Volsungs.* — Sigi, the son of Odin, 
was a mighty king of the Huns whom Odin loved and prospered 
exceedingly. Rerir, also, the son of Sigi, was a man of valo: 
and one who got lordship and land uniu himself; but neither 
Sigi nor Rerir were 10 compare with Volsung, who ruled over 
Hunland after his father Rerir went home to Odin. 

To Volsung were born ten sons, — and one daughter, Signy by 
name ; and of the sons Sigmund was the eldest and the most 
valiant. And the Volsungs abode in peace till Siggeir, king of 
Gothland, came wooing Signy, who, though loth to accept hinn, 
was, by her father's desire, betrothed to him. 

Now on the night of the wedding great fires were made in the 
hall of the Volsungs, and in the midst stood Branstock, a great 
oak tree, about which the hall had been bnilt, and the limbs of 
the tree spread over the roof of the hall ; and round about Bran- 
stock they sat and feasted, and sang uf ancient heroes and heard 
the music of the harp that went from hand to hand. 



4 



Bui e'en as men's hearts were hearkening some heard the thunder pi 
O'er the cluudlcss nuuiilide heaven; ami some men turned about 
And deemed that in the dooruay they heard a man laugh out. 
Then into the VuUung dwelling a mighty man llicrc strode, 
One-eyed and seeming ancient, yet hrtghl his visage glowed; 
Qoud-hlue was the hood upon him, and his kirtle gleaming-gray 
As the latter morning sun-dog when the storm is on the way; 



'Sec the Story of the Volsnncs, by Wiilinm Morris and EIrlkr Magnussoa; 
William Morris' Sigurd ihe Volsung; Vigfusson and Powell's Corpus PoelioiUB 
Boreale; and Commentary \ 185. 

s The extracts in verse are From William Morris' Sigurd the Volsung. 






MYTHS OF NORSE AND OLD GERMAN HEROES. 393 



A bill he bore on his shoulder, whose mighty ashen beam 

Burnt bright with the Haroe uf the sea, and the blended silver's gleam. 
And suth was the guise of lii» taimcnt as the Volsung ciders had told 
Was burnc by their fathtrrs' fathers, and the Hrst that warred in the wold. 

So strode he to the Dranstock, nt)r greeted any lord, 
But furth from his cloudy raiment be drew a gleaming sword, 
And smote it deep in the tree-bole, and the wild hawks overhead 
Laughed 'neath the naked heaven as at last he spake and said: 
** Earls of the Goths, and Vulsungs, abidcrs on the earth, 
Lo there amid the Uranstock a blade of plenteous worth! 
The folk of the war-wand's forgers wrought never better steel 
Since (irst the burg of heaven uprose fur man-fulks weal. 
Now let the man among you whose heart and hand may shift 
To pluck it from Ihc oak-wood e'en take it for ray gifL 
Then ne'er, but hid un-n heart falter, its point and edge shall fiiil 
Until the night's hi-ginniiig and the ending of the talc. 
Be merry, Katls of the Gulh-f'^lk, O Volsung Sons be wise. 
And reap the l^>atllc-acre that ripening for you lies: 
For they told me in the wild wood, I heard on the mountain>side 
That the shining house of heaven is wrought exceeding wide. 
And that there the Barly-comers shall have abundant rest 
While Earth grows scant of great ones, and fadcth from its best. 
And fadcth from its midward, and growcth poor and vile: — 
All hail to thee. King Vulsung ! farewell U.x a little while! " 

.So sweet his speaking sounded, so wise his words did sccm 
That moveless all men sal tlierc, as in a happy dream 
We stir not lest we waken; but there his speech had end 
And slowly down the hall-floor, and outward did he wend; 
And none would cast him a question or follow on his ways. 
For they knew that the gift was Odiu*5, a sword for the world to pnlie. 

Then all made trial, Siggeir and his earls, and Volsung and his 
people, to draw forth the sword from Branstock, but with no suc- 
cess, tih Sigmimd, laying his hand carelessly on the precious hilt, 
drew forth the naked blade as though it were loose in the oak. 
VVhcreupon Siggeir offered money for the sword, but Sigmund 
scorned the offer. 

But in time Siggeir h-d his vengeance. Inviting King Volsung 
and his sons to Gothland, he fell upon them, slew the king, and 
suffered the sons, fastened under a log> to be devoured in succes- 




394 



CLASS fC MYTHS IN ENGLISH LLTEHATVRE. 



sion by a she-wolf, — all but Signiund, who through the 
his sister Signy was rescued. He, driven to the life of an out- 
law, sought means to avenge his father, and Signy, on her 
strove to aid him, — without avail, however, till Sinfiolli, the son 
herself and Sigmund, was grown to manhood. This youth bore 
Sigmtmd company. For a season, as wolves, they scoured the 
woods; iinally resuming the form of men, they slew the children 
of Siggeir, and burned him in his hall. Signy, having helped to 
avenge her father, died with her husband. 

Sigmund, thereupon, became king, and took to himself a wife, 
But she, sufTering injury at the hands of Sinfiotli, poisoned him 
with a horn of ale. Then Sigmund sorroMrcd nigh to death over 
his son, and drove away that queen, and soon after she died. He 
then married Hiordis the fair; but before long, doing battle 
against Lyngi, the son of Hunding, — a chieftain who also 
loved the fair Hiordis, — he got his death-wound : — 

For lo, through the hedge of the warshtifts a mighty man there came, 
One-eyed and seeming ancient, but his visage shone like fiame; 
Gleaming-gray was his kirtle, and his hood was cluudy-bluc; 
AntI he bure a miKbty twihill, as he wailed the figbt-sheaves through. 
And stuud face to face uitb Sigmund, and upheaved the bill to smite. 
Once more round the head af the Vulsung fierce glittered the Branstock'sligh^ 
The sword that came from Odin; and Sigmund's cry once more 
Rang uut tu the very heavens abuve the <Iiu uf war. 
7*hen clashed the meeting edges with Sigmund's latest stroke. 
And in shivering Hhar<)s fell earthward that fear of worldly folk. 
Hut changed were the eyes of Sigmund, and the war-wrath left hii face; 
Fur that gray-clad mighty helper was gone, and in his place 
Drove on the unbroken spear-wood Against the Vobung's empty bands: 
And there they smote down Sigmund, the wonder of all lands. 
On the fuemen, on the death-heap his deeds had piled that day. 

To Hiordis, after Sigmund's death, was born Sig:urd, like whom 
was never man for comeliness and valor and great-heartedness 
and might. He was the greatest of the Volsungs. His foster- 
father was Regin, the son of Rodmar, a blacksmith, who taughl 
him the lore of nmes and many tongues ; and, by means of 



4 



MYTHS OF NORSE AND OLD GERMAN HEROES. 395 

Story of ancient wrongs, incited him to the destruction of the dragon 
Fafnir. For Regin told that the gods, Odin, Loki, and Hosnir, 
wandering near his father Hod mar's house, Loki slew one of 
Rodmar's sons, Otter. Whereupon Rodmar demanded that the 
gods should fill the Otter-skin with gold, and cover it with gold. 
Now, Luki, being sent to prucure the gold, caught Andvari the 
dwarf, and from him procured by force a hoard of the precious 
metal, and with it a magic ring, whose touch bred gold. But 
Andvari cursed the ring and the gold and all that might possess 
either. The gods, forthwith, filled Otter with the dwarfs gold, 
and surrenderexi both gold and ring to Rodmar. Immediately 
the curse began to work. Fafnir, brother of Regin and Otter, slew 
Rodmar and seized llie treasure, and assuming a dragon^s form, 
brooded upon the hoard. VVith this tale Regin egged on Sigurd tn 
the undoing of Fafnir. He welded him, too, a resistless sword out 
of the shards of Sigmund's sword, Gram (the wrath). Then Si- 
gurd swore that he would slay, the dragon. But first, riding on 
his horse, Greyfell, of the blood of Odin's Sleipnir, he avenged 
upon thti sons of Handing the death of his father. This done, 
Sigurd rode to Glistenheath and slew Fafnir, the dragon, and 
eating of his heart, learned the language of the birds ; and at 
their advice he slew Regin also, who plotted against him. 

So, setting the ring of Andvari on his finger, and bearing the 
gold before him on his horse, Cireyfell, Sigurd comes to the Hill 
of HindfelL 



AnH siucth awhile on Grc>'fcII on the marvellous thing to gaze: 
Fur lu, the side of Hindfell enwrapped by the fervent Maxe, 
Ami naught 'iwixt earth and heaven save a \vorl<l of flickering flame, 
And a hurrying, shifting tangle, where tlie (lack rents went and came . . 
. . . Now Sigurd turns in his saddle, and the hilt uf the Wrath he shifts, 
And draws a girth the tighter; then the gathered reins he lifts, 
And cricth aloud to Greyfell, and rides at the wildfire's heart; 
But the white wall wavers before him and the f^ame-flood rusheth apatt« 
And high o'er his head It riseth, and wide and wild is its roar 
As il bcarcth the mighty tidings to the very heavenly floor; 
But be ridcth through its roaring as tlic warrior rides the rye, 




396 



CLASSIC MYTHS IN ENGUSH UTBHATURE, 



When it bowf with the wind of the summer and the Lid spean draw anij 

The while dame licki his raiment and sweeps through Greyfell*» man^ 

And bathes both han'ls of Sigurd and the hilts of Fafnir's bane. 

And winds about bis war-helm and mingles with his hair. 

But nought his raiment dusketh or dims his glittering gear; — 

Then it fails and fades and darkens till all seems left behind. 

And dawn and the bUue is swallowed in mid-mirk stark and blind. 

Then before him Sigurd sees a shield-hung castle, surraounti 
by a golden buckler, instead of a banner, which rings against th< 
flag-staff. And he enters and finds the form of one asleep — in 
armor cap-a-pte. 

So he drawcth the helm from the h«ad» and, lo, the brow snow-white. 
And the smuuth unfurrowed cheeks, and the wise lips breathing light; 
And the face of a wuinan it is, and the fairest that ever was bom. 
Shown forth to the eittpty heavens and the <lcsert world forlorn : 
But he looketh, and loveth her sure, and he longcth her spirit to move. 
And awaken her heart to the world, that she may behold him and love. 
And he toucheth her breast and her hands, and he loveth her passing 
And he saith, " Awake ! 1 am Sigurd," but she moveth never the more. . . 

Then with his bright blade Sigurd rends the ring-knit mail that 
encloses her, " till nought but the rippling linen is wrapping her, 
about/* — 

Then a flush cometh over her visage and a sigh upheaveth her breast. 

And her eyelids quiver and open, and she wakencth into rest; 

Wide eyed on the dawning she gazeth, too glafi to change or smile. 

And but little moveth her body, nor speaketh she yet for a while'; 

And yet kneels Sigurd, moveless, her wakening speech to heed. 

While soft the waves of the daylight o'er the starless heavens speed. 

And the gleaming vines of the Shield-burg yet bright and brighter grow* 

And the thin moon hangeth her horns dead-white in the gulden glow. 

Then she turne4l and gazed on Sigurd, and her eyes met the Volsung's eyes. 

And mighty and measureless now did the tide of his love arise, 

For their longing had met and mingled, and he knew of her heart that she torv^ 

As she spake unto nothing but him and her tips with the speech-flood movei 

Brynhild, it was, — the Valkyrie, — who long time had Iain in 
that enchanted sleep that Odin, her father, had poured over her, 




A 




I 



MYTHS OF NORSE AND OLD GERMAN HEROES. 397 

dooming her to mortal awakening and to mortal love, for the evil 
she had wrought of old when she espoused the cause in battle of 
those whom the Norns had predestined to death. Her might 
none but the fearless awaken ; and her had Sigurd awakened ; 
and she loved him, for he was without fear and godlike. And she 
taught him many wise sayings ; and they plighted troth, one to 
the other, both then and again ; and Sigurd gave her the ring of 
Andvari. But they were not destined to dwell together in wed- 
lock ; and Brynhild, foreseeing the future, knew even this. 

Sigurd was to wed with another than Brynhild. And it befell 
in this wise. In the land of the Nibhmgs (Nibelungs, Nibelun- 
gen) dwelt Gudrun, daughter of (Jiuki, the Niblung king. And 
Gudrun dreamed a dream in which a fair hawk feathered with 
feathers of gold alighted upon her wrist. She went to Brynhild 
for the interpretation of the dream. "The hawk," said Br>'nhild, 
** is Sigurd." And so it came to pass. Sigurd visiting the court of 
the Nibhmgs, was kindly entreated by King Giuki and his three 
sons, Gunnar, Hogni, and Guttorm ; and he performed deeds of 
valor such that they honored him. But after many days, Grim- 
hild, the mother of Gudrun, administered to Sigurd a magic 
potion that removed from him all memory of Brynhild. So 
Sigurd loved and wedded the fair Gudrun. Indeed he soon 
joined others in urging his wife's brother Gunnar, a doughty 
warrior, to sue for the hand of Brynhild herself But Brynhild 
would have no one that could not ride through the flames drawn up 
around her hall. After Gunnar had made two unsuccessful attempts, 
Sigurd, assuming the form of King Gunnar, mounted Greyfell and 
rode for the second time through the tlames of Hindfell, Then 
stiU wearing the semblance of Gunnar he gained the consent of 
Brynhild to the union, and exchanged rings with her, — she giving 
him none other than the ancient King of .Andvari back again. But 
even this did not recall to Sigurd's memory his former ride and his 
former love. Reluming to the land of the Niblungs, he announced 
the success of his undertaking ; and told all things to Gudrun, giv- 
ing her the fatal ring that he had regained from Brynhild. 





398 Cl^SS/C MYTi/S IN ESGUSH UTERATURE, 

In ten days came Brynhild by agreement to the Hall of 
Niblungs, and, though she knew well the deceit that had been 
practised on her, she made no sign ; nay, was wedded according 
to her promise to King (lunnar. But as they sat at the wedding- 
feast, the charm of Grimhild was outworn,— Sigurd looked upon 
Ounnar's bride, and knew the Brynhild of old, the Valkyrie, whom 
he had loved ; " And Bymhild's face drew near him with eye* 
grown stern and strange." 

But, apparently, all went well till the young queens, one day, 
bathing in the Water of the Niblungs, fell into contcDtion on a 



t 



(matter of privilege. Brynhild claimed precedence in entennj^f 
the river on ihe ground thai fiunnar was the liege lord of Sigurd.^H 
Gudnin, white with wrath, flashed out the true story of the nde^| 
through the Hames, and thrust in Brynhild's face the Andvari nng,^| 
Consumed with jealousy, Brynhild plotted revenge. She loved 
Sigurd still, and he, since he had regained his memory, could not 
overcome his love for her. But the insult from Gudrun Brynhild 
would not brook. By her machinations, Gutlorm, the brother of 
Gudrun, was incited to slay Sigurd. He, accordingly, stabbed llie 
hero while asleep, but Sigurd, throwing Gram at the assassin, cut 
him in twain before he could escape. 

Woe nie ! how the house of the Niblungs by another cry was rent, 

The wakctiinj^ wail of Gudrun, as she shrank in the river of blood 

From the breast of the mighty Sigurd : he heard it and understood. 

And rose up on the sword of Gutturm, and turned from the country of ileakfa. 

And apake words of loving-Ulndncss as he strove for life and breath; 

"Wail nut, O child of the Niblunifs! 1 am smitten, but thou shjilt live, 

In remembrance of our glory, mid the gifts the gods shall give! . . , 

... It is Brynhild'* deed," he murmured, '• and the woman that love* me 

well; 
Nought now is left lo repent of. and ihc tale abides to tell. 
I have done many deerls in my life-days, and all these, and my love, the; 

lie 
In the hollow hand af Odin till the day of the world go by. 
I have done and I may not undo, I have given and 1 take not ngain; 
Art thou oilirr than I, Allfatber, will Ihou gsther my gWy in vain?" 



MYTHS Oh NOKSE AND OLD GERMAN HEROES. 399 



^^^ M\ 

■ So ended the life of Sigiird. Brynhild grieved a season, then 

■ dealt herself a mortal wound, and was burned on the funeral 
pyre beside Sigurd the Volsung. 

In time Gudrun became the queen of Atli, the Rudlung. He, 
in order to obtain the hoard of Sigurd, which had passed into 
the hands of the Niblungs, ~ Gudrun*s brothers. — bade them 
visit him in Hunland. Fully warned by fiudrtin. they still ac- 
cepted the invitation, and arriving at the hall of Atli, were after 
a fearful conflict slain. But ihey did not surrender the hoard — 
that lay concealed at the bottom of the Rhine. Gudrun with the 
aid of Niblung, her brother Hogni's son, in the end slew Atli, set 
fire 10 his hall and brought ruin on the Budlung folk. Then leap- 
ing into the sea she was borne with Swanhild, her daughter by 
Sigurd, to the realm of King Jonakr, who became her third hus- 
band. Swanhild, " fairest of all women, eager-eyed as her father, 
so that few durst look under the brows of her," — met, by stress of 
love and treachery, a fniil end in a foreign land, trampled under 
foot of horses. 

Finally Gudrun sent her sons by Jonakr to avenge their 
half-sister's death ; and so bereft of all her kin, and consumed 
with sorrow, she called upon her ancient lover, Sigurd, to 
come and look upon her, as he had promised, from his abid- 
ing-place among the dead. And thus had the words of her 
sorrow an end. 

Her sons slew King Jormunrek, the murderer of Swanhild, but 
were themselves done to death, by the counsel and aid of a cer- 
tain man, seeming ancient and one-eyed, — Odin the forefather of 
the Volsungs, — the same that had borne Sigi fellowship, and that 
struck the sword into Branstock of Volsung*s hall, and that faced 
Sigmund and shattered Gram in the hour of Sigmund's need, and 
that brought Sigurd the matchless horse Greyfell, and oft again 
had appeared to the kin of the Volsungs; — the same god now 
ftTought the end of the Niblungs. The hoard and the ring of 
Andvari had brought confusion on all into whose hands they 
feU. 




§ i86. The Lay of the Nibelungs 
this story — called the Nibelungenlied — certain variations of 
name, incident, and character appear. Sigurd is Siegfried, dwell- 
ing in Xanten near the Rhine, the son of Siegmund and Siege- 
lind, king and queen of the Netherlands. Gudrun is Knemhild, 
sister of Gunther (Gunnar)^ king of the Burgundians, and 
niece of Hagen (Hogni), a warrior of dark and sullen raien, 
cunning, but withal loyal and brave, the foe of the glorious 
Siegfried. Siegfried weds Kriemhild, takes her to the Nether- 
lands and lives happily with her, enjoying the moneys of the 
Nibelungen hoard, which he had taken not from a dwarf, as 
in the Norse version, but from two princes, the sons of Kin^ 
Nibelung. Meanwhile Gunther dwells in peace in the Burgundiaa 
land, husband of the proud Bninhild, whom Siegfried had won 
for him by stratagem not altogether unlike that of the Norse story. 
For the Brunhild of the Yssel-land had declared that she would 
marry no man save him who should surpass her in athletic contcsL 
This condition Siegfried, wearing the Tarakappe, a cloak that ren- 
dered him invisible, had fulfilled for Gunther. He had also succored 
poor Gunther after his marriage with Bninhild. For that heroine, 
in contempt of Guiither's strength, had bound him hand and foot 
and suspended him from a nail on their bed-room walL Bv 
agreement Siegfried had again assumed Gunther's form, and aft 
a fearful tussle with the queen had reduced her to submissi 
taking from her the ring and girdle which were the secret sources 
of her strength^ and leaving her to imagine that she had been con- 
quered by her bridegroom, Gunther. The ring and girdle Sieg- 
fried had bestowed upon Kriemhild, unwisely telling her at the 
same time the story of Bnmhild's defeat. Although the Nibelun- 
genlied offers no explanation, it is evident that the injured queen 
of Yssel-land had recognized Siegfried during this ungall 
intrigue; and we are led to infer that there had been so 
previous acquaintance and passage of love between them. 

At any rate, Siegfried and Kriemhild, retiring to the Kelher 

^See Commeniary, $ i86. 



Bv 




r 



MYTHS OF KORSE Ah'D OLD GERMAN HEROES, 401 

lands, were ruling happily at Xanten by the Rhine ; and all might 
have continued in peace had not Brunhild resented the lack o( 
homage paid by Siegfried, whom she had been led to regard as 
a vassal, to Gunther, his reputed overlord. 

In her heart this thought she fostered, deep in its inmost core;* 
That still ttiey kept such distance, a secret grudge she bore. 
How came it that their vassal to court declined to go, 
Nor for bis land did homage, she inly yearned tu know. 

She made request of Gunther, and begged it so might be, 
That slie the absent Kricmhild yet once a^ain might sec, 
And luM him» too, in secret, whereon her ihoughts were bent, — 
Then with the words she uttered bcr lord was scarce content. 

But Gunther yielded, and Siegfried and Kriemhild are invited 
to Worms, nominally lo attend a high festival. 

, . . With what joy and gladness welcomed were they there! 
It seemed when came dame Brunhild to Burgundy whilere, 
Her welcome by dame Kriemhild less tender was and true; 
The heart of each beholder beat higher at the view. . . . 

Received was bold Str Siegfried, as fitted well his state. 
With the highest h<)nors; no man bore him hate. 
Young (Jisclher and Gemot proffered all courtly care; 
Never met friend or kinsman reception half so fair. 

One day at the hour of vespers certain knights proved them- 
selves at tilting in the regal court-yard. Conspicuous among 
them was Siegfried. Kriemhild, looking from her window, said, 
" He surely should rule tliese realms;" Bninhild answered, '* So 
long as Gunther lives that sure can never be." 

. . .Thereto rejoined fair Kriemhild, " Sce'st thou how proud he standi. 
How proud he stalks, conspicuous among those warrior bands. 
As doth the moon far-beaming the glimmering stars outshine? 
Sure hare I cause to pride ine when such a knight is mine." 

1 TJie extracts in verse are, unless orherwise stated, from the translation by 
W. N. Lcltsom, London, 189a Werner Haha's Uebcrsettung has also been used. 




IW hsrtoi let «« facv 
VUtAfamA pcoad Ae fc^c £ur 
** Ko wmtmkm pcccvdett the bJf of dw 

Then, fiill of wrath, KriemhiM, in terms anything but deh'cjte, 
acquainted her haughty st&ter-in-Uir vrith the deceptitm that h^ 
twice been practii^ upon her by Siegfried and Gunther ; nay, 
wone, ' orrolwrated her statement by displaying both ring and 
Kirdlc tlut Brunhild had lost. I'he altercation came to the cats 
of the kings. Gunther made complaint to Siegfried. Then, 

..." Women miut be initructed," ftaid Siegfried, the guod knigbt, 
"T»lr*ve u(( Itlle talking mml rule their tongaes aright. 
Keep tliy tiitr wife in onJer, I'll do hy mine the same 
Such overweening Mly put» nic indeed tu shame." 

Hul it was to(j Lite to mend the matter. With devilish intent 
IJrunhild [ilutlcd vengeance. Sitgfried, the author of her monifi- 
catlon, muHt die the denth. The foes of Siegfried persuaded hit 
wife, (inuw.irc o( tlicir design, to embroider in his vesture a silken 
inwn over tlic one s|)oi where the hero was vulnerable. Then the 
crrtfty Hiigen, who had been suborned by Brunhild to the baleful 
tlrcil, bitled his time. One day, when heated by nmning, Gun- 
ihcr, Hagrn, utul Siegfried stayed by a brook to drink. Hageii 
UiW hit chance, 

. Then, a» \o drink. Sir Siegfried down kneeling there he found, 
llf |ilerccd htm throuj^h the crotlet, that sudden ^m the wound 
lIlMtb tb« U(e-hltMid tpurtctt, e'en o>r his nmnlerer** weed. 
ndl MAiiiitc darr to fimt a deed. . , . 




4 





MYTHS OF NORSE AND OLD GERMAN HEROES. 403 

. . « With blood were all bedabbled the Bowerets of the field. 
Some time with death he struggled as though he scorned to yield 
E'en to the foe whose weapon strikes down the loftiest head. 
At l&st prone in the meadow lay mighty Siegfried dead. 

Brunhild glories in the fall of Siegfried and exults over the 
mourning widow, Kriemhild, sitring apart, nurses schemes of 
vengeance. Her brothers affect to patch tap the breach in order 
that they may obtain the hoard of the Nibelungs. But this treas- 
ure, after it has been brought to Worms, is sunk, for precaution's 
sake, by Hagen, in the Rhine. Although in time Krienihild 
becomes the wife of King Ktzcl (Alii, Altila) of Hunland, still 
she does not forget the injury done her by her kin. After thirteen 
years she inveigles her brothers and their retainers, called now 
Nibelungs because of their possession of the hoard, to Etzcl's 
Court, where, after a desperate and dastardly encounter, in which 
their ball is reduced to ashes, they are all destroyed save Guiuher 
and Hagen. Gtmther's head is cut off at her orders ; and she 
herself, with Siegfried's sword Halmung, severs the head of the 
hated Hagen from his body. With these warriors the secret of 
the hidden hoard passes. Kriemhild, having wreaked her ven- 
geance, falls by the hand of one of her husband's knights, Hilde- 
brand, who, with Dietrich of Berne, had played a prominent part 
among the associates of King Etzel. 

"I cannot say you now what hath befallen since; 
The women all were weeping, and the Hitters and the prince. 
Also the nohlc squires, their dear friends lying dead : 
Here bath the story ending; this is the Nibctungen's Need." ' 



^ From Carlyle's translation of fragments of the poem. 




COMMENTARY. 



COMMENTARY.' 



[// is h»^d tkat tkit Commtnt^ry may be ust/ut ia gwHerat readers, and to iemchers tn 
He teeotdary tchooU, ma wtU «* to ^apUt. The secUcn-numbert €orrtsP*nd with 
tkaie pjtke text in the bcdjr ^the h&ck. The letter C apfended to a number indicaiet 
C»mmemtary.\ 

§§ i-io. For information concerning mythical characters mentioned 
in these sccliuns — such as Faiiijura, Prometheus, Lndymiun, Artemis, 
Aphrodite, Hermes, BeUerophon — consult Index and the references as there 
indicated. 

§ II. Homer is also called Mclcsigcncs, son of Mclca — the stream on 
which Smyrna was built. The Iiomerid;e, whu lived un Chios, claimed to be 
descended from Homer. They devoted themselves to the cultivation of epic 
poetry. 

Arioa. — See George Eliot's poem beginning 

"Arion, whose melodic soul 
Tauglil the dithyramb to roll." 

Other Greek Poets of Mythology to be noted are Callimacbus (360 b.c"), 
whose Lock of Berenice is reproduced in ihe elegiacs of Catullus, and from 
whose Griffins (of sacred rites) Ovid drew much of his information. Also 
Nicander (150 B.C.), whose Transformations, and Parthenius, whose Meta- 
morphoses furnished material to the I^tin poet. With Theocritus should he 
read Bioo nnd Moschus, l>-ith exquisite masters of the idyl and elegy- Sec 
Andrew Lang's translation of Theocritus, Rion, and Mf»»chus; and the verses 
by Dobson and Gosse with which 1-ang prefaces the translation. Lycophron 
(260 H.c.) wrote a poem called Alexandra, on the consequences of the voyage 
of Paris In Sparta. The Loves of Hero and Leander were probably written 
by a grammarian, Hussus, as late as 500 A.D. This poem contains admira- 
ble verses, and has a " pretty " fancy. 

t For assistance in collecting references to English poetry the author is indebted 
lo Mbs M. B. Clayes.n graduate of the Univrrsiiv of California. 

407 




408 ClASSfC MYTffS IN ENGUSH LITERATURE^ 

Translations of Greek Poets. —The best verae tranfrtations of Homer Are 

those of Chapman, Tupc, the E^rl of Derby, and Cowper. 

An excellent prose translation of the Iliad is that of Lang, Leaf, and M;erf 
(Macmillao & Co.) Lonrl. : 18S9; of the Odyuey, that by Butcher and Lug 
(MacmilUn & Co.) I^nd. : 1883; or the translfttiun into rhythmical prose t^ 
G. H. Palmer (Kuughton. Mifflin & Co.) Boston, 1892, 

The Tragic Poeta. — Plumplre'a translations of ^fAchylus and Sophoclei 
(Routlcdgc) 2 v., N.Y.: 1882; WodhuU. Potter, and Milroan's translation of 
Euripides in Morley's Universal Library (Routledge) Lond.: 1S88; PotterS 
.^ftchylus, Francklin's Sophocles, Wodhuirs Euripides; 5 t^ Lond.: 1S09. 

Other Poets. — ling's translation of Theocritus, Bion, and Moacbua 
Pindar: — Odes, Iransl. by K. A. Pal»ry, Lond.: 1868; by Ernest Myeis, 
Lond.: 1874. Translations of Greek Lyric Poets: — Collections from the 
Greek Anthology, by Bland and Mcrivale, Lond.: iSjj ; The Greek Antbol- 
Qgy, by Lord Neavcs, Anc- Classics fur Engl. Readers Series, Lond- : 1874; 
Bohn's Greek Anthol,, hy Burges, Lond.: 1832. 

On Homer, Hcsiu^:!, Theocritus, the tragic poets, Pindar, etc., see, alsoj 
Colliru' excellent series of Ancient Classics fur English Readers (IJppincott« 
Fhila.); and the series entitled "English Translations from Ancient and 
Modern Poems," by Various Authors. 3 v., Lond. : 1810. Of /lUchylus read 
the Prometheus Bound, to illustrate §§ 25, 26; the Agamemnon. Cho^phori. 
and Eumenides, to illustrate §§ 167, 170; and the Seven against Thebes, for 
% 163. Of Sophocles read (Tjlipus Rex, (Edipus at Colonus, Antigone, 
with S 158, etc.; Elcctra, with § 170; Ajax and Philoctctcs, with the Trojan 
War; Women of Trachis with § 143. Of Euripides read Medea, Ion, Alccs- 
tis, Iphigenia in Aulis and in Tauris, Elcctra. Other translations of -tschylus, 
are J. S. Blackie's: 1850; T. A. Bucklic's* (Bohn): Lond.: 1848; E. A, A. 
Morshead's: 1881 ; of Sophocles, Thos. Dale's, into venc. 2 v., 1824; 
R. Wbitelaw*s. into vcisc, 1883; Lewis Campbell's Seven Plays into verse : 
i883j of Euiipiilcs, T. A Bucklic's (Bohn) 2 v.. Lond.: 1854-58. 

§ 12. Roman Poets, — Horace (65 b.c) in his Ode% Epodei, and Satires 
makes frequent reference and allusion to the common stock of mTthology. 
sometimes telling a whole story, as that of the daughters of DanaOs. CatnllOB 
(87 B.C.). the most original of Roman love-poets, gives us the Nuptials of 
Pelcus and Thetis (for selections in English hexameters, see %% 153 and 
165 rt). the Lock of Berenice, and tlie Atys. ManUiua of the age of Augustus 
wrote a poem on Astrnnomy, which contains a philosophic statement of stai- 
myths. Valerius Flaccus (d. 88 a.d.) based his Argonautics upon the poem 
of that name by Apollonius of Rhodes. Statins (61 a.d.) revived in the bril- 
liant verses of hisThcbaid and his Achillcid the epic myths and epic machinery, 
but not the ^ngor and naturalness of the ancient style. To a prose wril 




COMMEl^TARY. 



Byginus, who lived on terms of close intimacy with Ovid, a fragmentary 
work, called the UL>ok o\ Fables^ which is sometimes a useful source of 
information, and four books of Poetical Astronomy, have been attributed. 
The works, as we have them, could not have been written by a friend of the 
cultivated Ovid. 

Translations and Studies. — For a general treatment of the great poets 
of Rome, the stinicnt is referred to \V. L. Collins' Scries of Anc. Classics for 
Engl. Readers (Lippincott, Phila.)< For the Cupid and l^yche of Apuleias, 
read Walter Pater's Marius the Epicurean, Lond. : 1S85. Of translations, 
the foUowing arc noteworthy: Ovid: — the Mctamurphoacs, by Dryden, 
Addison, and others; into Er^glish blank verse by Ed. King, Edio. : 1871; 
transl. by Riley, Lond.: 185 1; Englished by Geo. Sandys, Lond.! 1660. 
Vergil's >Eneid, translations: — into verse by John Conington, Lond.: 1873; 
into dactylic hexameter by Oliver Crane, N.Y. : 1888; the /Eneids into verse 
by Wm. Morris, Lond. : 1876; Bks. 1-4, by Stanyhursl. 1582 (Arber's Reprint) ; 
/Eneis, hy Dryden. Catullus: transl. by Robinson Ellis, Lond.: 1871 ; by Sir 
Theodore Marlior Edlii. : 1875. Horace: transl. hy Theodore Martin, Edin. : 
t88i; by Smart, Lond.: 1853; Odes and Epodes in Calverlcy's translations, 
Lond.: 1S66; Odes, etc., by Conington, Lond.: 1872; Odes and Epodes, 
by Lord Lytton, N.Y. : 1870. Sre, also, under /'d/V, and Wilkuhson, p. 540. 

{ 15. For ScaDdinavian literature, see foot-notes to pp. 50-33 and ref- 
erences in § 185 C 

Runes were " the letters of the alphabets used by alt the old Teutonic tribes 
. , , The letters were even considered magical, and cast into the air written 
separately upon chips or spills of wood, to fall, as fate determined, on a cloth, 
and then be read by the interpreters . . . The association of the runic letters 
with heathen mysteries and superstition caused the first Christian teachers to 
discourage, and, indeed, as far as possible, suppress their use. They were, 
therefore, superseded by the Latin alphabet, which in First English was sup- 
plemented by retention of two of the runes, named 'thorn* and '^ wen,* to 
represent sounds of ' th ' and * w,' for which the Latin alphabet had no letters 
provided. Each rune was named after some object whose name began with 
the sound represented. 'l"he first letter was F, Fcoh, money; the second U, 
Ur, a bull; the third Th, Thorn, a thorn; the fourth O, Os, the mouth; the 
fifth R, Rad, a saddle; the sixth C, Ccn, a torch; and the six sounds being 
joined together make Futhorc, which is the name given to the runic A B C." 
Morlcy's English Writers, i : 267. See also Vigfusson and PowcIPs Corpus 
Poeticum Boreale, 2: 691, under Runes and Rune-stones; Oeasby's Icelandic- 
English Dictionary; and George Stephens* Old Northern Runic Monuments, 
2 v^ Lond.: 1866-68. 

{ 14. For Translations of the Nibeluogealied, see § 1S5 C Foe other 





410 CLASSIC MYTHS IN ENGLISH UTEHATVUB^ 

Gcrm&n lays uf mylh, tbe Gudrun, the Great Rose Garden, the HocveJ 
Siegfried, etc., Me Vilmar'a Gcschkhtc dcr deutit:hen National-Littentur, 
42-1O], Leipx.: 1886. See also, in general. Grimin's Deutsche Mythologie. 
Gdttingen: 1855; Ludlow's Popular Epics of the Midille Ages, a r.. Load : 
1S65; George T. Dippold's Great Kpics uf Medttcval Gennaoy, Bostoa. 
1891. -"' 

% 15. TransUtions and Studies of Oriental Mytlia and Saaed Wnt- 

inga. — Kgyplian. Scc Birch** tiuidc tu the First and Second Egjptiac 
Rooms, British Museum; Miss A. B. Hilwards' A Thousanfl Miles up the XSc. 
Ixind. : 1876. 

h'ar ike principal Jiinnities, stt /ttJex to lAis zpork. 

IndiAD. — Max MuUer'a translation uf the Kig-Veda-Sanhita; S«cTed Books 
of the East, 35 vols., edited by Max Mflller, — the t'panishadsi^ Bhagavadgiti, 
lustitutts oi Vishnu, etc., translated by various scholars. Oxford: l874-9>; 
Milller's History of Sanskrit Literature, Lond. : 1S59; Weber's History ol 
Indian Literature, Load.: 1878; H. H. Wilson's Rig-Veda-Sanhila, 6 t., 
Lond. ; 1S50-70; Muir's Sanskrit Texts, and his Principal Deities of the Rtg- 
Veda, 5 v., Lond. : 186S-73: J. Freeman Clarke's Ten Great Religions, Bosioa 
1880; the MahAbhSrata, translated by PruUp Chundra Roy. N'us. 1-76, Cal 
cutta: 1S83-95, See Indian Idylls by Edwin Arnold. The Episode of N 
— Nalop&khyanam — translated by Monicr Williams, Oxford : 1879. Of 
K&inflyana, a paraphrase (in brief) is given by F. Richardson in the tliafi 
the ^fkAi, Lund. : 1870. E. A. Keed's Hindu Literature, with traiisiatioT%.' 
Chicago: 1S91; W. W'ard's History, Literature, and Mythology of the Hid 
doos, 3 vols., Lend.: 1S22. On Buddhism, read Arnold's IJght of A«UL 

For tht €hiif divimtiei of the Hindus^ see Index to tMs itwA. 

Persian. — J. Freeman Clarke's Ten Great Religions; Johnson's OirleDl 
Religions; Haug's Essays on the Sacred language, Litcriture, etc^ of the 
Parsis, by E. W. West, Boston: 1S79. In illustration should be read Moore's 
Fire-Worshippers in Lalla Rookh. 

§ 16. C lu^Os : a gap . Compare the ** Beginning liap " of Norse mytbolon. 
Eros : a yearnin g. Erebus: black . frr>m rout meaning to <over . 

5 17. Uranufl (Greek Ouranos] c-irrcsponifs with the name of the Indi 
divinity V'arunas, root 7*.jr, to cover. Uranuji \s the starry vault that covers tl 
e^^: Varunos became the rain-giving sky. Titan: the honorable, powerful 
the king; later, the signification was limited tu the sun. Oceaous probably 
mt^m /lood. Tethya: the nourisher, nurse. Hyperion: the wanderer oo 
high;' the sun. Thea: the beautiful, shining : ihe moon. She is called by 
Homer Eurypha^ssa, the far-shining. Xapetua : the sender, hurler, wounder; 
compare the Hebrew Japhet. Themis: that which is esubUahed, lam 

* Popular etymology. The suffix ton is patronymic. 



i 

ID- 

he 
c"$ 

i 




COMMENTARY, 



411 



Knemosyne: mrinory. Other 'riUii& were Cceus amj Phrebe. Bgurative of 
the radiant lights of heaven ; Cretts and Eurybifi, mighty powers, probably 
of the sea; Ophion, the mighty serpent, and Eurynomc, the far-ruling, whu, 
according to Apoltonlua uf Rhodes, held sway over the Titans until Cronus 
cast theui into the Ocean, ur into Tartariu- 

CrODua (Greek Krono*>) Ls, as his name showa, (he god of ripening, harvest, 
maturity. Rhea comes from Asia Minor, and was there worshipped as the 
Mother Earth, dwelling creative among the mountains. Cronus {^Kronoi) has 
been naturally, but wrongly, identilied with Chronos, the personification of 
?Vi»(r, which, as it brings all things to an end, devours its own offsprings and 
also with the Latin Saturn, who, as a gud of agriculture and hanest, was 
represented with pruning-knifc in hand, and regarded as the lord of an ancient 
golden age. 

The three Cyclopes were IJronlcs, Steropes, and Arges. Cyclops means 
the round-eyed. The Hecatoncbires were Briareus, the strong, called abo 
.4iga:on (see 21 C); Cottus, the striker; Gyes (or Gygcs), the vaulter, or 
cripplcr. Oyges is called by Horace (Carm. 2, 17: 14) Centimanus, — the 
hundred- handed. 

lUustrative. — Milton, in Paradise Lost 10 : 581, refers to the tradition of 
Ophion and Eur}*nomc, who *' had first the rule of high Olympus, thence by 
Saturn ilriven " Hyperion: sec Shakespeare's Hamlet, " I lyperion's curlsj 
th e front of Jove himse lf." Also Hen. V. 4:1; Troil. and Cressida 2:3; 
Titus Andron. 5:3; Gray, Prog, of Poesy, " Hyperion's march they spy, 
and glittering shafts of war "; Spenser, Prothalamion, " Hot Titans beames." 
On Oceanus, Ben Jonson, Neptune's Triumph. On Saturn, see Shake- 
speare, Much Ado 1:3; 2 Hen. IV. 2:4; Cymbclinc 2:5; Titus An- 
dron. 2:3 and 4:3; Milton, P. L. 1:512, 519, 583, and 11 Pcnseroso 24. 
Sec Robert Buchanan, Cloudland, "One like a Titan cold," etc.; Keats. 
Hyperion. 

In Art. — Helios (Hyperion) rising from the sea: sculpture of eastern 
pediment of the frieze of the Parthenon (British Museum). 

§ 18. Homer makes Jupiter (Zeus) the oldest of the sons of Cronus; 
Hcsiod makes him the youngest, in accordance with a widespread savage 
cu.<)tom which makes the youngest child heir in chief. — I^NC, Afyth, kitual^ 
etc., 1 : 297. According to other legends Zeus was born in Arcadia, or even 
in Epirus at Doduna, where was his sacred grove. He was in cither case 
reared by the nymphs of the locality. According to Hesiod, Theog. 730, he 
was born in a cave of Mount Dictc, in Crete. 

§ 19. Atlas, according to other accounts, was not doomed to support the 
heavens until after his encounter with Perseus. See % 136, 

§ 21. See Milton'i Christ's Nativity, "Nor TypbOD huge ending in snaky 






CLASSIC MYTHS iN ENGUSH LiTEJiATVHB. 



twine." The monster is also called TTphacua (Hesiod, Thcog. JJ37). TV 
Dune means to tmoke^ to htrn. The monster persoai5es fiery vapon pw 
ceeding from subterranean places. Other famous Giants M-cre Mimas, PU;- 
botes, Epbialtes, Rbcetus. Gytiui. See Preller, f : 6cx Briareus (reiDf t 
Centimanus) is frequently ranked among the giants. 

niostratWe. — Shakespeare, TroiL and Crcssida 1 ; 2 ; ^[ilto^, P. L 1 : 199; 
Pope, Dunciftd 4 : 66. For giants, in general, sec P. L. 3 : 464; 1 1 : 643, (Sk 
Sam«on Agonistcs, 148. 

§§22-25. Promethena : forethough t-^ Epimetheus: afterthought Ik 
secret prcserveil In* PrDmcthcus was to the effect that, in time, Jop^ 
ter and his dynasty should be overthrown. Prometheus knevr also ihA 
he would be released from chains by one of his descendants in the tkir 
leenlh generation. This deliverer was Hercules, son of Alcmene tad 
Jupiter. Sicyon (or Mecone): a city of the Peloponnesus, near Corinlb. 

niusUative. — Milton, P. U, ** More lovely than Puidora whom the go* 
endowed with all their gifts.*' 

Poems. — D. C. Rossctli, Pandora ; Longfellow, M ast^ ^ oe of Pandora: 
rhos. Pamell, Hesiod, or the Rise of Woma n. PrometheuA, bv Brwa, 
Lowell, H. Coleridge; Prometheus Bound, by Mrs. Browning; tran^itiua 
of yflftchylus, Prometheus Bound, Augusta Webster, £. li. Pluniptxe; Shelley, 
Prometheus Unbound; K. H. Home, Prometheus, the Fire-bringer. See 
Byron's Ode to Napoleon Bonaparte. The Golden Age : Cbaaccr, TV 
Former Age {^Stas Prima). 

In Art. — Ancient: Prometheus Unbound, vase picture {Monuments /ifA/iG 
Rome and Paris). Modern: Thorwaldsen's sculpture, Minerva and Promelheot 
Pandora: Sichel (oil), Kossetti (crayons, oil), F. S. Church (water-colors). 

§ 26. Dante (Durante) degU Alighieri was bom in Florence, 1265. 
Banished by bis political opponents 1302, he remained in exile until his destb, 
which took place in Ravenna, 1321. His Vita Xuova (New Life), lecoun;- 
ing bis ideal love fur Beatrice Portinari, was written between 1290 and IJOO; 
his great poem, the Divina Commedia (the Divine Comedy) consisting 0* 
three parts, — Inferno, Purgalorio, Paradiso, — durinj; the years of his exflt 
Of the Divine Comedy, says Lowell, " It is the real history of a brother man, 
of a tempted, purified, and at last triumphant human soul.** John HUtOi 
(b. 1608) was carried by the stress of the civil war, 1641-1649, away fima 
poetry, music, and the art which he had sedulously cultivated, into the stonsv 
sea of politics and war. Perhaps the severity of his later sonnets and the 
sublimity of his Paradise Lost, Paradise Regained, and .Samson Agonistes are 
the fruit of the stem years of controversy through which he lived, not as s 
poet, but as a statesman and a pamphleteer. CerTAlltes (1547-1616), the 

Popular etymology. The root of the nanie indicates FiT$'f9d^ 




COMMENTARY, 



4U 



author of the greatest of Spanish romances^ Don Quixote. His life was full 
of adventure, privation, suffering, with hut brief seasons of happiness and 
renown. He distinguished himself at the battle of Lepanto, 1571 \ but in 1575* 
being captured by Atgerine cruisers, he remained five years in harsh captivity. 
After his return to Spain he was neglected by those in power. For full twenty 
years he struggled fur his daily bread. Don Quixote was published in and 
after 1605. Corybantes: the priests of Cybele, whose festivals were vio- 
lent, and whose worship consisted of dances and noise suggestive of battle, 

§45«- 

§ 2S. Astrsea was placed among the stars as the constellation Vii^o, the vir- 
gin. Her mother was Themis (Justice). Astnca holds aloft a pair of scales, in 
which she weighs the conflicting claims of parties. The old poets prophesied a 
return of these goddesses and nf the Golden Age. See also Pope's Messiah, — 



V 



All crimes shali cease, and ancient fraud shall fail. 
Returning Justice lift aloft her scale" ; 



and Milton> H)Tnn to the Nativity, 14, 15. In P. I^ 4 : 998, tt 1^., i» a dif- 
ferent conception of the golden scales, " betwixt Astrsea and the Scoqnoo 
sign." 

§ 29. Illustrative. — B. W. Proctor, the Flood of Thessaly, Sec Ovid's 
famous narrative of the Four Ages and the Hood, Metamorphoses I : 89-415. 
Deucalion: Bayard Taylor's Prince Deukalion; Milton. P. L. it : IX 

Interpretative. — This myth combines two stories of the origin of the 
Hellenes, or indigenous Creeks, — one, in accordance with which the Hellenes, 
as earth-born, claimed descent from Pyrrha (the red earth); the other and 
older, by which Deucalion was represented as the only survivor of the flood, 
but stiU the founder of the race (in Greek /aJj), which he created by casting 
stones (in Greek Idei) behind him. The myth, therefore, proceeds from 
an unintended pun. Although, finally, Pv-rrha was by myth- makers made 
the wife of Deucalion, the older myth of the origin of the race from stones 
was preserved. See Max Muller, Sci. Relig., l.ond. : 1873, p. 64. 

5 JO. For genealogy of the race of Inachus, Phoroneus, Pela^us, and lo, 
see § 59 C Pelasgus is frequently regarded as the grandson, not the son, 
of Phoroneus. For (he descendants of Deucalion and HcUen, sec § 133 (5) 
of this commenlar)*. • 

} 31, In the fulluwing genealogical table (A), the names of the great gods 
of Olympus are printed in heavy-face. Latin forms of names or Latin sub- 
stitutes are used. 

niuatrative. — On the Goda of Greece, see E. A. Bowring's translation 
of Schiller's Dit G9tt»r Griecheniands and Bayard Taylor's Masque of the 




CLASSIC MYTHS IN ENGLISH UTERATVUB. 



< a 



(2 



S— I 



'-g-.s 
6 Q 



I 



Jo s 




Cods. On Olympiu, »ee Lcwb M 
the Epic of Hades. Allasions aboorvi; v 
Shakespeare, Troil. and Crrsuda j: 3; Jui. 
Car*. 3:1; 4:3; Mamlel 5:1; MilWn, P 
U 1:516; 7:7; 10:583; Pope, Rape ^ 
the Lock 5:48; Windsor Forrsi, 3J, 2^4; 
E. C. Strdman, News from Olympia. Set 
also E. W. Gosse, Greece and KngUmJ (ill 
Vioi and Flute). 

§ -^2. The Olympian Gods. -^ 1 
were, according to Mr. Gla/lslonc (J 
Am. Rev. April, 1892), abour twenty 01 
pian deities: » (1) The fire really pest 
gods, Zeus, Hera, Posidon. ApoUu, an.J 
Atlienc; (2) Hcphawtus, Ares, Hermci. 
Iris, Leto, Artemis, Thrmi*. Aphrod 
Uione, Paction (or Preon\ and Hebe. 
also usually present amonj; the asserobl 
immortals ; ( 3) Uenicler, Pcnwph 
Dionysus, and Thetis, whose claum are 
more or less obscured. According to Ibf 
same authority, the Distinctive Qualitict 
of tb« Homeric Gods were as foIluw«: 
(1) Ihey were immortal; {z) they were 
incorporated in human form; (3) theyen- 
joyed power far exceeding that possesKd 
by mortals; (4) they were» however ( 
tlie possible exception oK Athene, who 
never ignorant, never deceived, never b 
fled), all liable to certain timitaiions 
energy and knowledge; (5) they wi 
subject also to corporeal wants and 
human affections. The Olyinpiao Ke 
ligion, as a whole, was more careful 
nations, slates, public atTairs, than of in 
viduals and individual character; and in 
this respect, according to Mr. Gladstone, 
it diflfcrs from Clirisiianity. He holds, ho 
ever, that despite the occasional inuno 
tics of the gods, their general government 

' For Latin names, see Indtx^ or Chaps. 







COMMENTARY. 



not only "tnakes for righteousness," but is adtlressed to the end of render- 
ing it triumphant. Says Zeus, for instance, in the Olympian assembly, " Men 
complain of us the gods, &nd uy that we arc the source from whence ills 
proceed; but they likewise themselves suffer woes outside the course o( 
destiny, through their own perverse offentiing." But, beside this general 
effort for the triumph of right, there is little to be said in abatement of the 
general proposition thai, whatever be their collective conduct, the common 
speech of the gods is below the human level in point of moralit>'.' 

§ "^y Zeus. — In Sanskrit Dyaus, in Latin l/oris, in German 7'iu. The 
same name fur the Almighty (the Light or Sky) used pmbabLy thousands uf 
years befi^rc Hitmcr, or the Sanskrit Bible (the Vedas). It is nt.t merely the 
blue sky. nor the sky personiticd, — not merely worship of a natural phe- 
nomenon, — but of the Father who is in Heaven. .So in the Vedas we find 
Dyauj /ifar, in the Greek ifrw /a/en in Latin Jti/iter — all meaning fathei 
of light.— Ma.k Muller. A/. Relig. 171. 172. Oracle: the word signifies 
also the answers given at the shrine. 

Illustrative. — Allusions tu Jove on every other page of Milton, Dryden, 
Prior, (iray, ant! any poet of the Elliabethan and Augustan periods. On the 
Lore Affairs of Jupiter and the other god», Miltuii, Paradise Regained 2 : 182. 
J!}odona: Tennyson's Talking Oak : — 

"Thai Thessalian growth on which the swarthy rhig-dove sat 
And mystic sentence spoke," etc. 

Poem: Lewis Morris, Zeus, in the Epic of Hades. 

Id Art. — Beside the representations of Jupiter noted in the text may 
be mentioned that on the eastern frieze of the Parthenon; the Jupiter Otricoli 
in the Vatican; also the Jupiter and Juno (painting) by Annibale Camcci; 
the Jupiter (sculpture) by Bcnvenuto Cellini. 

§ 34- Juno was called by the Romans Juno Lucina. the special goddess 
iif childbirth. In her honor wives held the festival of the Malronalia on the 
tirst of March of each year. The Ijitin JuQO is fur Diou-n-on, from the stem 
Diove^ and is the feminine parallel of Juvis, just as the Greek Dione (one of 
the loves of 3?cus) is the feminine of Zeus. These names (and Diana, 
too) come from the root i/ir, tn shine, to illumine. There are many points of 
resemblance between the Italian Juno and the Greek Diune (identified with 
Hera, as Hera-Dione). Both are goddesses of the moon (?), of women, of > 
marriage; to lK»lh the cow {with moon-crescent homs) is sacred. (See 
Koscher, 21 : 576-579 ) But Overbeck insists that the loves of Zeus are 
deiliesof the earth : "The rains of heaven (Zeus) do not fall upon the moon." 

1 The Olympian Religion (N. A. Rev. May, 1S93}. See his/urM/wj XfuttJi. 




416 Classic MYTHS W ENGLISH UTERATURE. 

niastrative. — W. S. Landor, Hymn of Terptndec to Juno; Lewis Morm, 

Here, in the Epic of Hades. 

In Art. — Of the statues of Juno the most celebrated was that toade by 
Polyclitus for her temple between Argo» and Myccnx. It wai uf gold and 
ivory. (See Paus. 2. 17. 4.) The goddess was sealed on a throne of magnift- 
ccnt proportions; she wore a uruwn upon which were figured the Graces and 
the Hours; in one hand she held a pomegranate, in the other a sceptre 
surmounted by a cuckoo. Of the extant rep rc&en tali ons of Juno the most 
famuus are the torso in Vienna from Kphesus, the Barberini in the Vatican 
at Rome, the bronze statuette in the Cabinet of Coins and Antiquities 
in Vienna, the Famesc bust in the National Museum in Naples, the Ludo- 
visi bust in the villa of that name in Rome (reproduced in the text), the Pom- 
peian wall-painting uf the marriage of Zeus and llcra (given by Baumei&ter, 
iJcnkmalcT I. 649; sec also Roscher \y. 2127), ami the Juno of Lanuvium. 

S 35. Athene has some characteristics of the warlike kind in common 
with the Norse Valkyricsi, but she is altogether a more ideal conception, ^lie 
best <lescription of the goddess will be found in Homer's Iliad, Bk. j : 730 

The derivation of Athene is uncertain (Preller). Related, say some, to 
atAer, ai$^p^ the clear upper air; wy others, to the word antkos, lv9ot, a 
flower — virgin bloom; or (see Roscher, 6S4) to athrr^ iO^p, spear point. 
Max Mutler derives Athene from the root a*, which yields the Sanskrit Ahana 
and the Greek Daphne, !he Dawn (?). Hence Athene is the Dawngodde**; 
but she is also the goddess of wisdom, because "the goddess who caused 
people to wake was involuntarily concei%'ed as the goddess who caused 
people to know" (Science of Language, i: 548-551). This is poor philology. 

Epithets applied to Athene are the hright-eyed, the gray-eyed, the aegis- 
bearing, the unwearied daughter of Zeus. 

The festival of the Panathensea was celebrated at Athens, yearly, in com- 
memoration of the union of the Attic tribes. (See $5 152-157 C.) 

The name Pallas characterizes the goddess as the Arrfw^/i'M/r of lightnings. 
Her Palladium — or sacred image — holds always high in air the brandished 
lance. 

tfinerra, or Henerra, is connected with Ijilin metis, Greek mhios, San- 
skrit manas, mind; not with the I^tin mane, morning. The relation is not 
very pLiuaiblo between the awakening of the day and the awakening ol 
thought (Max Mailer, as above, i : 552). 

For the meaning of the Gorgon, see Commentary on the myth of Perseoa. 

niastrative. — Byron, ChJlde^ aroU 4 : 96, the eloquent paaaage begin 
ning, — 




m 




COMMENTARY, 



417 



•* C»n tyrants but by tyrants conquered be, 

And Freedom find no champion and no child. 
Such as Columbia saw arise, when she 
Sprung forth a I'alUs, armed and undcfikd?" 

Shakespeare, Tempest 4:1; As Vou Like It 1:3; Wintei*s Tale 4:3; 
Pericles 2: 3; MUion, P. L. 4: 500; Comas 701; Arcades 23; Lewis Morris* 
Athene, in the Epic uf Hades; Uyrua's Cbilde Haruld 2:1-15, ^7> 9^'* 
Ruskin's Lectures entitled "The Queen of the Air" (Athcoe) Thos. WooU 
ner*& Pallas Athene, in Tircsias. 

In Art. — The linesl of the statues of this goddess was by Phidias, in the 
Parthenon, or temple uf Minerva, at Athens. The Minerva of the Parthenon 
has disappeared J but there is good ground to believe that we have, in several 
extant statues and busts, the artist's conception. The Hgurc is characterized by 
■grave and dignihcd beauty, and freedom from any transient expression; in other 
words, by repose. The most unportant copy extant is of the Roman period. 
The goddess was represented standing; in one hand a spear, in the other 
a statue of Victory. Her helmet, highly decorated, was surmounted by a 
Sphinx. (See figure, § 172,) The statue was forty feet in height, and, like 
the Jupiter, covered wth ivory and gold. The eyes were of marble, and 
probably painted to represent the iris and pupil The Parthenon, in which 
this statue stood, was also constructed under the direction and superintendence 
of Phidias. Its exterior was enriched with sculptures, many of them from 
the hand of the same artist. The Elgin Marbles now in the British Museum 
are a part of them. Also remarkable are the Minerva Bcllica (Capitol, Rome) ; 
the Athene of the Acropolis Museum; the Minerva of the /Kgina Marble* 
(Glyptothek, Munich); the Minerva Medica (Vatican); the Athene of Vel- 
letri in the Louvre, (See § 35, figure 2.) In modem sculpture, especially 
excellent are Thorwaldscn's Minerva and Prometheus, and Cellini's Minerva 
(on the base of his Perseus). In modern painting, Tintoretto's Minerva 
defeating Mars. 

% 36. While the Latin god Mara corresponds with .\res. he has also not a few 
points of similarity with the Greek Pbftrbus; for both names, Mars and Phoebus, 
indicate the t\\xvX\\y sKining. In Rome, the Campus Martius (field of Mars) 
was sacred to this deity. Here military manoeuvres and athletic contests 
look place; here Mars was adored by sacrifice, anrl herr stood his temple, 
where his priests, the Salii, watched over the sacred spear and the shield, 
AudU, that fell from heaven in the reign of Numa Pompilius. Generals 
supplicated Mars for victory, and dedicated to him the spoils of war. See 
Roscher, 478, 486, on the fundamental significance, philosophical and phj-sical, 
of Ares. On the derivation of the Latin name Man, see Roscher (end of 
article on ApoUo). 




418 



CLASSIC MYTHS IN ENGUSH UTERATURE. 



ninttTAtive, in Art. — Of ircbaic 6gurc«, thai upun ihc so-c&Ued FaaQoa 
Vase in Florence represents Area bearded and with the armor of an Hooh 
warrior. In the art uf the sccund half uf the fifth century b.c^ he is repi 
sentcd as beardless, standing with spear and helmet and generally ckiam^ 
(short warrior's cloak); so the marble Ares statue (called the Borghi 
Achilles) in the Louvre. There is a later type (preferred in Rome) of 
god in Corinthian helmet pushed back from the forehead, the right fauid 
leaning on a spear, in the left a sword with point upturned, over the left arnii 
chiamyi. The finest representation of the deity extant is the Arts Lnd^fvUi 
Rome, probably of the second half of the fourth century B.C., — a sitti 
figure, beautiful in form and feature, with an Eros playing al his feet (; 
§ 36.) Mo<lern sculpture: Tliorwaldsen's relief. Mars and Cupid. 

§ 37. On the derivation of HephsestUS, sec Roscher, 2037. From Greek 
apki^ to kindle, or/Aa, tt> shine, ur tpha^ tu burn. The Latin VuICAO, while 
a god of fire, is not represented by the Romans as possessed of technicai skilL 
It is said that Romulus built him a temple in Rome, and instituted the Vu^ 
canalia — a festival in honor of the god. The namt^ I'ttLanus, or ya/cannj, u 
popularly connected with the Latin yW^rr/-, to tlash or lighten, fnigur, a flash 
of lightning, etc. It is quite natural that, in many legends, fire should play an 
active part in the creation of man. The primitive belief of the ludo-Germanic 
race was that the fire-god, descending to earth, became the first man; and that, 
therefore, the spirit uf man was composed of fire. Vulcan is also called by 
the Romans Mulcihcr, from mulce&^ to soften. 

Illustrative. — Shakespeare, Twelfth N. 5: i; Much Ado i:i; TroiL aod 
Oessida I : 3; Hamlet 3: 2; Milton, P. L. 1 : 740: — 

*' From mom to noon he fell, from noon 10 dewy eve, 
A summer's day; and with the setting sun 
Dropped from the senitli, like a falling star. 
On Lemnos. the .Egean isle." 




In Art. — Various antique illustrations ore extant of the god u a unith 

with hammer, or at the forge, — one of him working with the Cyclopes; a 
vase-painting of him adurning Pandora; one uf him assisting at the birth of 
Minerva; and one of his return to Olympus led by Bacchus end Corous. 
modern paintings the following are nuteworlhy : J. .\. WicrlJi's Forge of V 
can; Velasques, Forge uf V^ukan (Museum, Madrid); the Furge of Vulc 
by Tintoretto. Thorwaldscn's piece of statuary, Vulcan forging arrows U 
Cupid, is justly famous. 

§ 38. Castalia : on the slopes of Parnassus, sacred to Apollo and the M 
CephiasUB : in Phocis and B<cotia. (Another Cephissus flows near Athens.) 

Interpretative. — The birth, wanderings, return uf ApoUo, and bis stmg' 



4 

on 
s fo^^ 

use^^l 





COAfAfE/ZTARY, 



419 



gle with the Python, etc., are explained by many scholars as symbolic uf the 
annual course of ihc sun. Apollo is born uf l^to, who is, according to 
hypothesis, the Night from which the morning sun issues, liis conflict with 
the dragon reminds one of Siegfried's combat and that of St. George. The 
dragon is \'ariously interpreted as symbolical of darkness, mephitic vapors, 
or the forces uf winter, which are overcome by the rays of the springtide sun. 
The dragon is called Dclphyng, or Python. The latter name may be derived 
simply frum that part of Phocis (Pytho) where the town of Hclphi was situate, 
or that again from the tlrcck root putA, to rot, because there the serpent was 
left by Apollo lo decay; or from the Greek /«M, to inquire, with reference to 
the con^tultation of the Delphian or Pythian oracle. " It is open to students 
to regard the dolphin as only one of the many animals whose earlier worship 
is concentrated in Apollo,, or to take the creature for the symbol of spring 
when seafaring becomes easier to mortals, or to interpret the dolphin as the 
result of a voiks-efynw/c^e (ptrpular derivation), in which the name Deipht 
(meaning originally a hollow in the hills) was ctinnecled with del/^is^ the 
dolphin," — Lang, Myih^ /ii/uti/, etc, 2: 197. Apollo is also called Lycius, 
which means, not the wolf-slayer, as is sometimes stated, for the wolf is sacred 
to Apollo, hut either the wolf-god (as inheriting an earlier wolf-cult) or the 
golden gad of Light. (See Preller and Hoscher.) This derivation is more 
probable than that from /.yn'a in Asia Minor, where the god was said origi- 
nally to have been worshipped. To explain certain rational myths of Apollo 
as referring to the annual and diurnal journeys of the sun is justitiable. To 
explain the savage and senseless survivals of the Apollo-myth in that way is 
impossible. 

Festivals. — The most important were as follows: (i) the DelphinUf in 
May, t*i celebrate the genial influence of the yuung sun upon the waters, in 
opening navigation, in restoring warmth and life to the creatures of the 
wave, especially to the dolphins, which were highly esteemed by the super- 
stitious seafarers, fishermen, merchants, etc. (2) The TluurgeltA, in the 
Greek month of that name, our May, which heralded the approach of the hot 
season. The purpose of this festival was twofold: to propitiate the deity of 
the sun and forefend the sickness of summer; to celebrate the ripening of 
vegetation and return thanks for first-fruits. These festivals were held in 
Athens, Dclos, and elsewhere. (3) The Hyacinthian fast and feast of Sparta, 
corresponding in both features to the I biirgclian. It was held in July, in 
the oppressive days of the dogstar, .Sirius. (4) The Caroean of Sparta, 
celebrated in August. It added to the propitiatory features of the Hyacin- 
thian. a thanksgiving for the vintage. (5) .\nother nnlage-feslival was the 
Pyanepsian, in .Athens. (6) The DapbnephOlia : "Familiar to uiany Hng- 
lish people from Sir Frederick Leighton's picture. This feast is believed 




420 



Cf.ASSrC MYTHS AV ENGUSH UTERATUFE, 



to have symbolized ihe year. . . . An oUve-branch supported a central ball 
of brdss, beneath which wu a smaller ball, and thence little globes were hung.' 
"The greater ball means the sun, the smaller the muon, the tiny globes the 
stars, and the three hundred and sixty-tive laurel garlands used in the feast 
are understood to symboli/e the days." (/Va/mj and Pausantas.^ — Lang, 
Myth^ KittiaK etc., 2: 194, 195. Apollo is also called the SmlothiAn, or 
Mouse-god, because he was regarded either as the protector or as the destroyer 
of mice. In the Truad mice were fed in his temple: elsewhere he was hon- 
ored as freeing the country from them. As Mr. l^ng says (Myth, Ritual, 
etc, 2: 201), this is intelligible, "if the vermin which had once been sacred 
became a pc>l in the eyes of lotcr generations." 

Oracle of Delphi. — It bad been obscr\-ed at a very early period that the 
goats feeding on Tar nassus were thrown into convulsions when they approached 
a certain long deep cleft in the side of the mountain. This was owing to a 
peculiar vapor arising out of the cavern, and a certain goatherd is said to have 
tried its eflccts upon himself. Inhaling the intoxicating air, be was affected 
in the same manner as the cattle had been; and the inhabitants of the sur- 
rounding country, unable to explain the circumstance, imputed the convulsive; 
ravings to which he gave utterance while under the i>ower of the exhalattont 
to a divine inspiration. The fact was speedily spread abroad, and a temple 
was erected on the spot. The prophetic innuence was at first variously attrib- 
uted to the goddess t!arth, to Neptune, Themis, and others, but it was at 
length assigned to Apollo, and to him alone. A priestess was ap|xiinted 
whose uflicc it was to inhale the hallowed air, and who was named the Pythia. 
She was prepared for this duly hy previous ablution at the fountain of Castalia, 
and being crowned with laurel was seated upon a tripod similarly adomedi 
which was placed over the chasm whence the divine afflatus proceeded. Her 
inspired words while thus situated were interpreted by the priests. 

Other fam;>us oracles were that of Trophonius in Bccotia and that of the 
Egyptian Apia. Since those who descended into the cave at Lebadea to 
consult the oracle of Trophonius were noticed to return dejected and melan- 
choly, the proverb arose which was applied to a low-spirited person, *' He has 
been consulting the oracle uf Trophonius." 

At Memphis the sacred bull Apis gave answer to those who consulted hin^ 
by the manner in which he received or rejected what was presented to him. 
If the bull refused food from the hand of the inquirer, it was considered an 
unfavorable sign, and the contrary when he received it. 

It used to be (juestioned whether oracular responses ought to he ascribed to 
mere human contrivance or to the agency of evil spirits. The latter opinion 
would of course obtain during ages of su|)erstition. when evil spirits were 
credited with an infiiicnce over human affairs. A third theorj' has been ad' 



4 

I 




4 





COMMENTARY, 



421 



vanced since the phenomena of mesmerism have attracted attention : that 
something like the mesmeric trance was induced in the Pvthoucss, and the 
faculty of clairvoyance really called into action. 

Scholars have also sought to determine when the pagan oracles ceased to 
give responses. Ancient Christian writers assert that they became silent at 
the birth of Christ, and were heard no more after that date. Milton adopts 
this view in his Hymn to the Nativity, and in lines of solemn and elevated 
beauty pictures the consternation of the heatlien Idols at the advent of the 

Saviour : — 

" The oracles are dumb ; 
No voice or hideous hum 

Rings through the arched roof In words deceiving. 
Apollo from his shrine 
• Can no more divine, 

With hollow shrirk the steep of Delphos leaving. 
No nightly trance or brcatbftd spell 
Inspires llie palc-eycd Pricsl from the prophetic cell." 

niuatratiTe. — Spenser, Faery Quecne 1,3:2; 1,2:29; i. 11:31; ■< 
[2:3. Sir Philip Sidney, Ashophel and Stella, as, for instance, the pretty con- 
ceit beginning 

" Phccbus was judge between Jove, Mars and Love, 
0( those tlucc gods, whose arms the fairest were " ; 

Dekker, The Sun's Darling: Bums (as in the Winter Night) and other Scotch 
»ong-writcrs find it hard to keep Ph^ieSas out of their verses; Spenser, Epi- 
thalamion; Shakespeare, M. N. Dream 2: i (Apollo and Daphne); Gyro- 
beline (Gotens* Serenade); Love's Labour's Lost 4:3; Taming of .Shrew, 
Induction 2; Winter's Tale 2 : i ; 3:1; 3:2; Titus Andron. 4: 1 ; Drayton. 
Song 8; Tickell, To Apollo making Love; Swift, Apollo Outwitted; Pope, 
Essay on Criticism 34; Dunciad 4:116; Prologue to Satires 231; Miacel- 
lancous 7: 16; Armstrong, The .Art of Preserving Health. 

Poems. — Drumniond of Hawlhorndcn, Song to Phiebus; Keats, Hymn 
to ApoUo; A, Mary F. Robinson, A Search for ApuUo; In Apollo's Garden; 
Shelley's Homer's Hymn to ApoUo; Aubrey De Vcre, Lines under Del- 
phi; Lewis Morris, Apollo, in the Epic of Hades; R. W. Dixon, Apollo 
Pythius. 

The Python. — .Milton, P. L. 10:531; Sjiellev's Adon^i^^ Oracles.— 
Milton, P. L. 1:12,515; 5:382; 10:182; Paradise Rega ined 1:395, 430, 
456, 463; 3:13; 4:275; Hymn to Nativity 173. In Cowper's poem oi 
Yar dlev Oak thiTc arc mvtholu^ical allusions appropriate to this subject . 
On Dodona, Pjyron, Childc HaruUl 2:53; Tennyson, The Talking Oak. 
Byron alludes to the oracle of Delphi when speaking of Ronascau, whose 



422 



CLASSIC MYTHS IN ENGUSH LITERATURE. 



writing! he conceives did much to bring on the French revolution : Childe 
Harold 3:81,— 

" For then he was inspired, and from him came, 
As from ilic Pylhian's mystic cave of yore. 
Those oracles which set the world in flame. 
Nor ceased to burn till kingdoms were no men*." 

In Art. — One of the most esteemed uf all the remains of ancient sculpture 
Is the statue of Apollo* called the Belvedere, from the name of the apartment 
of the Topers palace at Komc in which it is pUced. The artist is unknown. 
It is conceded to be a work of Roman art. of about the first century of out 
era (and follows a type fashioned by a Greek sculptor of the (iellenistii 
period, protiably in bronze). It is a standing figure, in marble, more than 
seven feet IiikH, naked except for the cloak which is Instenerl around the neck 
and hangs over the extended left arm. It is restored to represent the gud in 
the moment when he has shot the arrow to destroy the monster I'ython. The 
victorious divinity Is in the act of stepping forward. The left arm which seems 
to have held the bow is outstretched, and tlie head is turned in the same 
direction. In attitude and propttrlion the graceful majesty of the figure i^ 
unsurpassed. The eflect is completed by the countenance, where, on the 
perfection of youthful godlike beauty, there dwells the consciousness of 
triumphant power. To this statue, Byron alludes in ChiUie Harold 4: 161 : — 



•• The lord of die unerring bow, 

The god of life, and poetry, nnd light — 
The sun, in human limbs arrayed, and brow 

All radiant from his iriumph in the fight ; 

'i*he shaft has just been stiot — the arrow bright 
With an immortal's vengeance; in his eye 

And nostril, beautiful disdain, and might 
And majesty flash their full lighinings by. 
Developing in that one glance the Deity." 

An earlier variation of this type represents Apollo holding in the lefl hand, 
not the bow, but probably an £cgis.^ llie standing figure in our text reproilucea 
this conception. Also famous in sculpture arc the Apollo Ctharonlns of the 
National Museum, Naples, and the Glypioibck, Munich; the Lycian Apollo; 
the Apollo Noniios; Apollu of 'I'hera ; the .-Vpollo of Michael Angelo (National 
Museum, Florence). A painting of romantic interest is Paolo Veronese's St. 
Christina refusing to adore .Apollo. Of symlwlic import is the .\puUu (Sund&y) 
by Raphael in the Vatican. Phtcbus and Koreas by J. K. Millet. 

% 39. Latona. — A theory of the numerous love-affalra of Jupiter is given 
in % 33 of the text. Deloa is the central island of the Cyclades group in the 
^Cgean. With its temple of Apollo it was exceedingly prt»pcrou9. 

1 Furtwiingler, Mthtent. //. Gr. Plaitik, condemns the .Egi*. 





COMMENTARY. 



Interpretative. — Latona (I^elo), according lo ancient interpreters, was 
night, — the shadow, therefurc, of Juno (Hera), if Hera be the splendor of 
heaven. But the early myth-makers would hardly have reasoned so abstrusely. 
It is not at alt certain that the name iMo means darkness (Preller i : 190, 
note 4); and even if light is born of or after darkness, the sun (Apollo) and 
the moon (Artemis, or Diana) can hardly be considered to be tmns of Dark- 
ness (I^lo) for they do nul illuminate the heavens at the same time. — Lanu, 
Myth, kitual, etc , 3: 199. 

Illustrative. — Byron's allusion to Delos in Don Juan 3 : 86,— 
"The isles of Greece! the isles of Greece! 
Where burning Sappho loved and sung. 
Where grew the arts of war and peace. 

Where Dclos rose and Pbcsbus sprung 1 
Eterrtal summer gilds them yet, 
But all except their sun. is set." 

See Milton's Sonnet, *' I did but protnpt the age to quit their clogs." for al- 
lusion to Latona. 

Id Art. — In the shrine of Latona in Deloa there was, in the da)'s of Athc* 
nseus, a shapeless wooden idol. 

DUna. — The I^tin Diaoa means either "goddess of (he bright heaven/* 
or " goddess of the bright day." She is frequently identified with Artemis, 
Ilecatc, Luna, and Selene. According to one tratlition, Apullu and Diana 
were bom at Ortygia, near Ephesus. Diana of the Ephesiana, referred 
tfi. Acts 19: 28, was a go<ldess of not at all the maidenly characteristics that 
belonged to the Greek Artemis (Roscher, 591; A. Lang, 2. 217). Other 
titles of Artemis are Munychia, the rooon*goddess; Calliste, the fair^ or the 
ihe-bfar : Orthia. the srt'rre^ worshipped among the Taurians with human 
sacntices; .\grotera, the huntress: Pytbia; Eileithyia, goddess of childbirth; 
Cynthia, bom on Mount Cynthus. 

Illustrative. — Spenser, F. Q. 1,7:5; 1, 12; 7; Shakespeare, M, of 
Venice 5: 1, *'Come, ho, and wake Diana with a hymn," etc.; Twelfth N. 
1:4; M. N. Dream 1:4; All's Well 1:3; 4:2: 4:4: Butler, Hudibras, 
3,2: 1448. Poems: B. W. Procter, The Worship of Dian; W. W. Story, 
Artemis; E. W. Gosse, The Praise of Artemis; E. Arnold, Hymn of 
the Priestess of Diana; Wordsworth. To Lycoris; I^wis Morris, Artemis, 
in the Epic of Hades. A. Lang, To Artemis. Pbcebe (Diana): Spenser, 
Epithalamion; Keats, To Psyche. Cynthia (Diana) : Spenser. Prolbalamion, 
Epilhalaraion; Milton, Hymn to Nativity; H. K. \\Tiite, Ode to Contempla- 
tion. 

Id Art. — in art the goddess is represented high-girt for the chase, 
either in the act of drawing an arrow from her quiver or watching her 



42-1 



CLASSIC MYTJ/S ItT El^GUSH UTERATURE. 




miisile in its fligbl. She is often attended by the hind. Sometimes, as mooo* 
goddess, she bears a torch. Occasionally she is clad in a chiton^ or robe of 
many folds, flowing to her feet. The Diana of the Hind {h Ui BicMe)^ in the 
palace of the I^avre (see text, § 39), may be considered the counterpart of 
the ApoUo Belvedere. 'I*hc attitude much resembles that uf Apollo, the si^es 
correspond and aUo ihc styles of execution. 'Ilie Diana of *Jic 1 1 ind is a work 
of the highest order, though by no means equal to the Ap<^lo. The attitude 
is that of hurried and eager motion, the face that of a huntress in the excite- 
ment of the chase. The left hand of the goddesc is extended over the fore- 
head of the hind which runs by her side, the right arm reaches backward orer 
the shoulder to draw an arrow from the quiver. The second illustration in 
the text is the Artcuii« Knagia ( Diana Cnagta), named after Cnagcus, a scrrant 
of Diana who assisted in transferring the statue from Crete to Sparta. 

In modern painting, noteworthy are the Diana and her Nymphs of Kubeni; 
Correggio's Diana; Jules Lefcbvrc's Diana and her Nymphs; Domcnichino^ 
Diana's Qiasc. Nute also the allegorical Luna (Monday) of Raphael in the 
Vatican; and D. (>. Ru&sctti's Diana, in crayons. 

§40. Interpretative. — Ty^p wnral^jp yf Ap^f ojite was probably of Semi tic 
orig in, but was ea rly introduced into Greece . The Aphrodite of Heaiod and 
Homer divplays Ixith t.>riental and Grecian characteristics. All Semitic nations. 
except the Hebrews, worshipped a supreme goddess who presided over 
the moon (or the Star of Love), and over all animal and vegetable life 
and growth. She was the Istar of the Assyrians, the Astarte of the Pbceni- 
cians, and is the analogue of the Greek Aphrodite and the Latin Venus. (Sec 
Roschcr, 390. etc-) The native Greek deity of love would appear to have been, 
however. Dione^ goddess of the moist and productive soil (§ 34 C), who 
passes in the Iliad (5:370, 428) as the mother of Aphrodite; is worshippe^J 
at Dodona by the side ofZeus, and is regarded by Euripides as TkyoHt, mother 
of Dionysus (Prellcr I. 259). 

The epithets and names moat frequently applied to Aphrodite are: the 
l^phian, Cypris (the Cyprus-horn), Cytherca; Erycina (from Mount Eryx). 
Pandemos (goddess of vulgar love), Pelagia (Aphrodite of the sea), Unuiia 
(Aphrodite of ideal love;, Anadyomene (rising from the water); she is, also, 
the sweetly smiling, laughter-loving, bright, gohlcn, fruitful, winsome. Hower- 
faced. blushing, swift-eyed, golden-crowned. 

She had temples and groves in Paphos, .Abydos, Samos, Ephesus, Cyprus. 
Cythcre, in some of which, — for instance, Paphos, — gorgeous annual festi- 
vals were held. See Childe Harold 1 : 66. 

Venus was a deity of extreme antiquity among the Komans, but not i>A 
great importance until she had acquired certain attributes of the Eastern 
Aphrodite. She w as wor shipped as goddess nf love, as presiding over mar- 




COAiMENTAHY, 



42S 



riage^ u the goddess who turns the hearts of men, and, later, eren as a goddess 
of victory* A f estival in her honor, called the Vcneralia, was held io Rome 
in April. 

niiutrative. — See Chaucer's Knight's Tale, for frequent referencea to the 
go ddess of love; also the Court of Love; Spenser's Prothalamion and Epi- 
thalamion, " H andmaids of the Cyprian gueea " ; Shakespeare, Tempest 4:1; 
M. of Venice 2:6; Troii. and Cressida 4:5; Cymbcline 5:5; Kora. and Jul, 
2:1; Milton's r.'Allcgro; P. R. 2:214; Comus 124; Pope, Rape of Lock 
4:135; Spring 65; Slimmer 61; Thomas Woolncr, Pygmalion (Cytherea). 

Poenu. — Certain parts of Shakespeare' s Venu s and Adonis and occasional 
stanzas in Swinburne's volume. Lam Veneris^ may be aclapted to illustrative 
purposes. Chaucer, The Complaint of Mars and Venus; Thos. Wyalt, The 
Lover prayeth Venus to conduct him to the Desired Haven. Sec the grand 
chorus to Aphrodite in Swinburne's Atalaiita in CalydDn; Lewis Morris, 
Aphro*lile. in the Epic of Hades; Th(>s. Gordon Hake, 'ITie Birth of Venus, 
tn New Symbols; D. Cj. K«sscLti, Sonnets; Venus Vcrticordia, Venus Victrix. 

In Art. — O ne of the mo st f amous of an cient painti ngs was the Venus ris^ 
ing fr om the foam, of Apelles . The Venus found in the island of Melos, 
or of Milo (see text, % 40), now to be seen in the Louvre in Paris, is the 
work of some sculptor of about the third century B.C. He followed on 
original of the age of Praxiteles, probably in bron/c, which represented the 
goddess partly draped, gazing at her reflection in on uplifted shield. A master- 
piece of Praxiteles was the Venus of Cnidos, based upon which are the Venus 
of the Capitoline in Rome and the Venus de* Medici in Florence. Also the 
Venus of the Vatican, which is incomparably superior to both. The Venus 
of the Medici was in the possession of the prince?^ of that name in Rome 
when, about two hundred years ago, it first attracted attention. .\w in- 
scription on the base assigns it to Cleomenes, an Athenian sculptor of 200 
B.C., hut the authenticity of the inscription is doubtful. There is a story 
that the artist was empfoyed by public authority to make a statue exhibit- 
ing the perfection of female beauty, and chat to aid him in his task the 
most perfect forms the dly could supply were furnished him for models* 
Note Thomson's allusion in the Summer : — 



"So stnnds ihe statue that enchants the world; 
So bending tries to veil the matchless boast, 
The mingled beauties of exulting Greece." 



And Byron's 



" Tliere too the goddess lores in stone, and Alls 
The air around with beauty." — Childt HaroM 4 : 49-53. 





426 CLASSIC MYTJ/S W ENGUSII UTEHATUKE, 

Of modern paintings the roost famotu arc the Sleeping Venas and other 
representations of Venus by Titian; the Birth of Venus by Bouguercau; Tin- 
torettu's Cupid, Venus, and Vulcan; Veronese's Venus with Sat)*r and Cupid 
Modern sculpture : Thorwaldsen*s Venus with ihc Apple; Venus and Cupid; 
Cellini's Venus; Canova's Venus Victrix, and the Venus in the Ktti Gallery. 

§41. Interpretative. — Max MiiUer traces Hermes, child of the Dawn 
with its fresh breezes, herald of the gods, spy of the night, to the Vedic Sarami, 
goddess of the Dawn- C^hcrs translate Saramd, storm. Roscher derives from 
the same root as Sarameyas (son of ^jaramS,), with tlie meaning ** I/ait^nrr^' 
the swiji U'tHi/. The invention of the Syrinx is attributed also lu Tan. 

niuatratiye. — To Mercury's construction of the lyre out of a tortoise- 
shell. Gray refers (Prog, of Poesy), " Parent of sweet And suleinn-breathing 
airs, Knchanting shell!" etc. See Shakespeare, K.John 4: 2; Hen. IV. 4:1; 
Kich, 111.2:1: 4:3; Hamlet3:4; Milton, P. L. j, "Though by their pow- 
erful art Ihey bind Volatile Hermes"; P. 1-4:717; H : 133; U Pens. 8S; 
Comus 637, 962. Poems: Sir T. Martin's Goethe's Phoebus and Herma; 
Shelley's translation of Homer's Hymn to Mercury. 

In Art. — The Mercury in the Central Museum, Athens; Mercury Bel- 
vedere (Vatican); Mercury in Repose (National Museum, Naples); and the 
Hermes by Praxiteles, in Olympia, are especially fine ^^eciraens uf ancient 
sculpture. 

In modern sculpture: Cellini's Mercury (base of Perseus); Giov. di Bo- 
logna's Flying Mercury (bronze). In modern painting: Tintoretto's Mercury 
and the Graces; Francesco Albani's Mercury and Apollo; Claude Lorrain*s 
Mercury and Battus; Turner's Mercury and Argits; Raphael's allegorical 
Mercury (Wednesday), Vatican, Rome; and his Mercurj* with Psyche CFar- 
nese Frescos). 

§43. Icterpretatiye. — The name Hestia (Latin Vesta) has been vari- 
ously derived from roots meaning to si/, lo s/atu/, to iurn. The two former 
are consistent with the domestic nature of the goddess; the latter with her 
relation to the hearth-nrc. She is "first of the goddesses," the holy, the 
chaste, the sacred. 

Illustrative. — Miltun. Tl Pens. (Melancholy), " Ti^/, bright-haired Vesta 
long of yore To solitary Saturn bore," etc. 

$ 43- (0 Cupid (Eros). — References and aUusions to Cupid throng our 
poetry. Only a few are here given. Shakespeare, Rom. and Jul. 1:4; M. 
ofVenice2:6; Merry Wives 2: 2; MuchAdol:!; 2:1; 3:2; M.N.Dream 
l:i; 2:2; 4:1; Cymbelinc 2:4; Milton, Comus 445, 1004: Herrick, the 
Cheat of Cupid : Pope, Rape of Lock 5 : 102; Duuciad 4: 308; Moral Esaay* 
4: 111; Windsor Forest, — on Lord Suney, " In the same shades the Cupid* 
tuned his lyre To the same notes of love and soft desire." 




COMMENTARY, 



427 



Poema. — Chaucer The Cuckow ami Nightingale, or Boke of Cupid (?); 
Occleve, The Letter of Cupid; Beaumont and Fletcher, Cupid's Revenge, 
and the Masque, A Wife for a Month; J. G. Saxc, Death and Cupid, on their 
exchange of arrows, "And that explains the reason why Despite the gods 
al>ove, The young are often doomed to die. The old to fait in love"; Thos. 
Ashe, The Lost Eros; Covcnlr)' Patmorc, The UnLnuwn Eros; John Lyiy's 
Campaape : — 

"C upid and my Caropospe play'^ 

At cardes for kisses, Cupid pay'd ; 

He stakes his quiver, bnw, and arrows. 

His mother's doves, and Iceme of sparrows; 

Looses them too; then, downe he throwes 

The corrall of his hpp<!:. ihr rose 

Growing en's cheek (but none knows how) 

Wiih these, the crj-stal of his brow. 

And then the dimple of his chin ; 

All these did my Campa&|M winne; 

At last hec set her both his eyes; 

She won, and Cupid blind did rise. 

O love! has she done ihU lo thee? 

What shall (alas) become of mee? " 

5ee also Lang's translation uf Muschus, Idyl \. 

In Art. — Antique sculpture: The Kroa in Naples, with wings, torch, and 
altar, a Roman conceptiun (Koscher, 1359); Eros bending the Bow, in the 
Museum at Berlin; Cupid bending his Kow (Vatican). 

Modem sculpture; Thorwaldsen's Mars and Cupid. Modern paintings: 
Bouguereau^s Cupid and a Butterfly; Raphael's Cupids (among drawings in 
the Museum at Venice); Bume-Jones' Cupid (in scries with Pj'ramus and 
Thisbe); Raphael Mengs' Cupid sharpening hi* Arrow; Guido Kcni'a Cupid; 
Van Dyck'a Sleeping Cupid. See also under Psyih^, § 94 C. 

Hymen. — See Sir Theodore Martin*a translations of the exquisite CcUit 
O J/eiUonii, ami the Vesptr adist^ juvtnei^ of Catullus (LXL and LXIL); 
Milton, P. L. l] : 591; L'All. 125; Pope, Chorus of Youths and Virgins. 

(2) Hebe. — Thomas Lodge's exquisite Sonnet to Phyllis, " Fair art thou, 
Phyllis, ay, so fair, sweet maid"; Milton, Vacation Ex. 38; Comus 290; 
L*.\U, 29; Spenser, Iipithalamion. Poema: T. Moore, The I'all of Ucbe; 
J. R. Lowell, Hebe. In Art: Ary Scbeffer'a painting of Hebe; N. .Schia- 
voniV painting. 

Ganymede. — Chaucer, H. of F. 81 ; Tennyson, in the Palace of Art, 
"There, too, flushed Ganymede, his rosy thigh Half buried in the eagle's 
down," etc.; Shelley in the Prometheus (Jove's order to Ganymede); Mil- 
Ion, P. R. 2:353; Drayton, Song 4, "The birds of Ganymed." Poems: 



CLASSIC MYTHS IN ENGLISH LITERATURE. 



k 



Lord LyttoDiGanjincde; Bowriog's Goethe's Ganymede; Roden No4fl. Gftnjr- 
mede; Edith M. Thomas, Homesickneu uf Ganymede; S. Margaret Fuller, 
Guijrmede Co bis Eagle; Urummond on Ganymede's lament, *' When eagle*s 
t&lons bare him through the air." la Art: Graeco-Roinan sculpture^ Cany- 
mede and the Eagle (National Musctun, Naples). Modern scolptore : Thor- 
waldsen's Ganymede. 

(3) The Graces. — Rogers, Inscription for a Temple; Matthew Arnold, 
£nphros}-ue. These goddesses are continually referred to in poetry. Note 
the painting by J. K Kcgnault (Ixiuvre), also the sculpture b)* Canova. 

(4) The Moses. — Spenser, The Tears of the Muses; Milton, II Pens. 
CbUde Harold I: 1,62, 88; Thomson, Castle of Indolence 2: 3; 2:8; Akcn* 
side, Pleasures of Imagination 3: 2S0, 327; Ode 00 Lyric Poetry; Crabbe, 
The Village, Bk. 1 ; [ntroductions to the Parish Register. Newspaper, Birth of 
Flattery; M. Arnuld, Crania. Delphi^ Parnasaos, etc. : Gray, Prog, of 
Poesy 2:3. Vale of Tempe: Keats, On a Grecian Urn; Young, Ocean, an 
ode. In Art: sculpture, Clio and Calliope, in the Vatican in Rome; Eolcrpe, 
Melpomene, Pulyhymnia, and Urania, in the Louvre, Paris; Terpsichore by 
Tborwaldsen. Fainting, Apollo and the Mu«cs, by Raphael Mengs and by 
Giulio Romano; Terpsichore (picture) by SchOtienberger. 

^5) The Hours, in art: Raphael's Six Hours of the Day and Night. 

(6) The Fates. — Refrain stanr.as in Lowell's Villa Franca, "Spin, spin. 
Clotho, spin! Lachesis, twist! and Atropoa, sever!" In Art: The Fates, 
paintings hy Michael .\ngelo (Pitli Gallery, Florence) and by Paul Thumann- 

(7) Ilemesis. — For genealogy see § 51 C 

(8) Asculapius. — Milton. P. L. 90: 507. 

(9) (10) The Winds, Helios, Aurora, Hesper, etc. — See genealogical 
table, 1 13 C. Aolus : Chaucer, H. of F. 480. Boreas and Orithyla : Akcn- 
side, P. 1. 1 : 722. 

In Alt. — The fragment, Helios rising from the Sea, by Phidias, south 
end, east pediment of the Parthenon. 

(11) Hesperus. — Milton, P. L. 4:605; 9:49; Comus 9S2; Akeiuide, 
Ode to Hespcr ; Campbell, Two Songs to the Erenlng Star. 

(12) "Iris there with humid bow waters the odorous banks," etc, Comus 
992. See also Milton's P. L. 4:698; 11:244. In Art: painting by Guy 
Head (Gallery, St. Luke. Rome). She is the swift-footed, wind-footed. fleet, 
the Iris of the goUIen wings, etc. 

§ 44. Hyperborean. — Btyond tht North. Concerning the Elysian Plain, 
see § 48. Illustrative : Milton, Comus, " Now the gilded car of day," etc. 

J 45. Ceres. — niuatratire. — Pope, Moral Essays 4:176. •'Another 
age shall see the golden ear Imbrown the slope , . . And laughing Cere» 
reaasume the land." Spring 66; Summf^r 66; Windsor Forest 39. Gray, 




COMMEtfTARY, 



429 



Frog, of Poesy; Warton's First of April: "Fancy . . . Sees Ceres grasp her 
crown of com, And Plenty load her ample horn." 

Poems. — Tennyson, Demcter auu Pcr&cphone; Mrs. H. H. Jackson, 
Dcmcler. Prose : W. H. Pater, The Myth of Demcter (Forln. Rev. Vol. 25, 
1876); S. Colvin, A Greek Hymn (Cornh. Mag. VoL ^'^^ 1876); Swinburne, 
At KLeusis. 

The name, Ceres, is from the stem «r, Sanskrit kri^ lo make. By metonomy 
the word comes to signify corM in the Latin. Demcter [Vr^ P^^f'np^ 5a >«lTi7p), 
means Mother Earth. The goddess is fcprcscnted in art crowned with a 
wheat-measure (or modius)^ and bearing a horn uf plenty Hlled with ears of 
corn. Demeter (?) appears in the group of deities on the eastern frieze of the 
Parthenon. Also nuteworthy are the Demcter from Cnidus, two statues of 
Ceres in the Vatican at Komc, and unc in the Glyptuthck at Ntnnich. 

§ 45 a. Rhea was worshipped as Cybele. the Great Mother, in Phrygia, and 
at P&ssinus in fialatia. During the Second Punic War, 203 U.C, her tmi^gc 
was fetche<l from the latter place to Rome. In 191 B.C. the Megalcnsian 
Games were first celebrated in her honor, occupying six days, from the fourth 
of April on. Plays were acted during this festival. The Great Mother was 
also called Cyliebc, Bcrecyntia, and Dindynieuc. 

The Cybele of Art. — In works of art, Cybclc exhibits the matronly air 
which distinguishes Juno and Ceres. Sometimes she is veiled, and seated on 
a throne with liuns at her side; at uther times she rides in a chariot drawn by 
lions. She wears a mural crown: that is, a crown whose nni is car\'e<l in the 
form of towers and battlements. Rhea is mentioned by Homer (Iliad XV, 
187) as the consort of Cronus. 

Illustrative. — BjTon's figure likening Venice to Cyhelc, Childe Harold 4, 
"She looks a sea-Cybele, fresh from ocean," etc. .\Uo Milton's Arcades 21. 

§ 46. Interpretative. — It i* interesting to note that Homer (Iliad and 
Odyssey) recognizes Dionysus neither as Inventor, nor as exclusive god of 
wine. In Iliad 6: 130 be refers, however, to the Dionysus cult in Thrace. 
Hesiod is the first to call wine the gif^ of Dionysu^i. Diooyaus means the 
Zeus or god of Nysa, an imaginary vale of Thrace, Rrotia, or elsewhere, 
in which the deity spent his youth. The name Bacchua owes its origin 
to the enlhusinim with which the followers of the god lifted up their voices 
in his praise. Similar namrs are lacchus, Bromius, Evius (from the cry 
tvoi). The god was also called Ly?ctts, the loountr of care. Liber, the 
Hbtrator. His followers arc also known as Edonides (from Mount Edon, in 
Thrace, where he was worshipped), Thyiades, the sacrificert^ I^nK and Bas- 
oarides. His festivals were the Lesser and Greater Dionysia (at Athens), the 
Leniea, and the Anthesterio, in December, March, January, and February, 
respectively. At the first, three dramatic perlormances were presented. 




430 CLASSIC MYTHS IN ENGUSH UTBRATVRE, 

Illustrative. — A few references and allusions worth consulting : Spenser. 
Epithalainion; Fletcher (Valcntinian), "Ciod L^'tvos, ever yuung " ; Ran- 
dolph, To MaalCT Anthony Stafford (1632); Milton, L'AIL (6; P. L. 4. 
279; 7: ^y, Comus 46, 522; Shakespeare, M. N, Dream 5: i; Love's L, L 
4:3; Ant. and Geo. 2 : 7 (song) ; ShcUcy, Ode to Liberty 7, Rome — "like 
a Cadnucan Micnad "; Keat&, To a Nightingale, "Not chari'^tcd by Bacchib 
and his (tards." On Semele, Milton, P. K. 2; 187. 

Poems. — Ben Junson, Dedication of the King's New Cellar ; Tbos. Pm- 
nclli Bacchus, or the Drunken Metamorphosis; Lander, Sophron*s Hymn to 
Bacchus; Swinburne, Prelude to Songs l»efore Sunrise; Rodcn Noel, The 
Triumph of Bacchus; others given in tcu. Sec /miex. 

In Art. — Of ancient representations of the Bacchus, the best exajnplcs 
arc the Silenus holding the child Bacchus (in the l.ouvrc); the head of Bac- 
chus found in Smyrna (now in Leydcn — see text, § 154)1 from an original of 
the school of Scopos; the head (now in London) from the Baths of CaracaUa. 
of the later Attic school; the Kaun and Bacchus (Museum, Naples); a stand- 
ing bronze figure in Vienna, and the statue of the Villa Tihurtina (Rome). 
The bearded or Indian Bacchtu is represented as advanced in years, grave, 
dignified, crowned with a diadem and robed to the feet. 

In modem sculpture note especially the Drunken Bacchus 6f Michael 
Angelo. Among modern paintings worthy of notice are Bouguercau's Youth 
of Bacchus, and C (ileyre's Dance of the Bacchantes. See also under .Ariatint. 

5 47. The invention of the Syrinx is attributed also to Mercury. For poet- 
ical illustrations sec §§ 52-54, 1 16, 117, C So abo for Nymphs and Satyrs. 

In Art. — The exquisite antique,Pan and Daphnis (with the Syrinx) In the 
Museum at Naples. See references above. 

5 4R. It was only in rare instances that mortals returned from lladcs. See 
the stories of Hercules and Orpheus. On the tortures of the condemned, sod 
the happiness of the blessed, see § 1 75 in The Advcnlorcs of ^Cncss. 

Illustrative. — Lowell, addressing the Past, says, 

" Whatever of true life there was In thee, 

Leaps in our age's veins. . . . 
Here, 'mid Ihe bleak waves of our strife and care. 

Float the green Forlunatc Isles, 
Where all ihy hero-spirits dwell and share 

Our martyr<loni and toils. 
The present moves attended 

With all of brave and excellent and Calr 
That made the old lime splendid," 

Milton, P. L. 3 : 568. " Like those Hesperian gardens," etc- See sbo P. U 2, 
passage beginning "A bhorred Stya, the flood of deadly hate, " where the 
riven of Erebus are cliaractcTucd according to the meaning of their t^reck 




COMMENTARY, 



431 



names; and L'All. 3. Charon: Pope, iianciad 3:19; ami in numerous 
poems. Slysiam: Cowpcr, Progress of Error, Night, "T he balm of care^ 
i/ Elysium of the m ind"; Milton, P. L. 3:472; Comus 257, L'All.; Shake- 
speare, 3 Hen. Vl. 1:2; Cymbeline 5:4; Twelfth N. 1:2; Two Gen. of 
Verona 2:7; Shelley, To Naples. Lethe: Shakespeare, Twelfth N. 4:1; 
Jul. Oca. 3:1; Hamlet 1:5: 2 Hen. IV. 5:2; Milton, P. L. 2:583. Tar- 
tarus: Millon. P. L. 2:858; 6:54. 

% 49. Interpretative. — The name Hadga means "the invisible," or " |i e 

it who makes invisitjlc " The m eanin g of Pluto i^Phuton'), according to Plato 

IT ( t'rafytus) , is wealth , — t he gjvcr of treasure which lies underground 

* Plu to carries the cornucopii^ g ymbol of inexhaustible riche t; but carcfal 

discrimination must be observed between him and Plutus_ f^/YoKAn") . who is 

merely an allegorical figure, — a personific ation of w *^glt>i an«l fn^lhJng """^ 

Hadea is called also the Illustrious, the Many-namgd , the Benignant, Poiy* 

dtcUt or the hospitable. 

Illustrative. — Milton, L'All. and II Pens.; P. L. 4:270; Thos. Kyd, 
Spanish Tragedy (Andrea's descent to Hades) — this poem deals extensively 
with the Infernal Regions; Shakespeare, 2 Ifen. IV. 2:4; Troil. and Crcssida 
4:4; 5:2; Coriol. 1:4; Titus Andron. 4: 3. 

Poems. — Bjichaii aii. Ades, K jpg nf Htd li Lewis Morris, Epic of Hades. 

$ 50, Proserpina. — Not from the I^tin //-o-Jrr/o, to crtep fort^ (used of 
herbs in spring), but from the Greek form Persephone , a brjnsrer qf dtaik . 
The later name Pherephatla refers to th e dove s {phatta)^ which were sacred 
to her as well as to .Aphrodite. She carries ears of corn as svnibol of vegcta* 
tion, p oppies as symbol nf the sleep of death , t he pomegranate as the fruit of 
t he underworld of which none might partak e and return to the ligh t of heaven. 
.Among the Romans her worship was overshadowed by that oi Liblllna,*a 
native deity of the underworld. 

Illustrative.— Keats. Me lancholy i: Spenser, F. Q. I, 2: 2. 
Poems. — Aubrey de Vcre, The Search after Proserpine; Jean Ingelow, Per- 
sephone; Swinburne, Hymns to Proserpine; L. Murris, Persephone (Kpjc of 
lladn); D.G. Kossetti, Proserpina. (Also in crayons, in water-colors, and inuil ) 

In Art. — Sculpture : Eastern jjcdimcnt of Parthenon firieze. Painti ng : Lo- 
renzo Bernini's Pluto and Proserpine; P. Schobelt's .\hduction of Proserpine. 

% 51. Textual. — (1) For .4iAcus, son of .-r.gina, see § 63 ami § 165 (l) 
C; for Minos and Khadamanthus, sec § 6t. Enmenides: Euphemistic 
term, meaning the ^vell-inientioned, Hecate was descended through her 
father Perses from the Titans, CreCs and Eurybie; through her mother Asteria 
from the Titans, Coeus and Phoebe. She was therefore, on both sides, the 
granddaugliter of Uranus and Gxa. 

The following table is based upon Hesiod's account of the Family of 
Wight. (Theogony.) 






W 




CLASSIC MYTHS IN ENGLISH LITERATURE, 







1 



is 

m 

3^ 



-3 

a 

0. 







According to other theogonieft, the FaIcs were 
daughters of Jove and Themis, and the Hesperidcs 
daughters of Alias. The stur>' of the true and false 
Dreams and the horn and ivory gates (Od. 19: 560) 
rests on a double play u{>on words: (l) fKi^at (//^ 
phas)t ivory, and iXftytxiftofuit {eirpMairomai), to cheat 
with false hope: (2) Wpai {keras), born, and Kpml- 
P€i¥ (krainein), to fultiL isec Mortimer CoUiii»,Tbe 
Ivory Gale, a poem. 

lUnstrative. — Hadet: P. 1*3:964; UMoni^' 
Epic of Hades. StyX: Sh&kcspeore, TroU. and 
Cressida 5:4; TUus Andron. 1:3: Milton, P. L. 3: 
577; Pope, Dunciacl 2: 338. Erebus: Shakc- 
ipeare, M. of Venice 5:1; 2 Hen. IV\3:4; JiU- 
Cscs. 3:1. Cerbenia: Spenser, F. Q. 1, 11:41; 
Shakespeare, Love's L. 1-5:2; 2 Hen. IV. 3:4; 
Troil. and Cressida 3 : l ; Titua Andnm. 3:5; Max- 
well, Tom May's Death; Milton, L'AU. 3. Fuius: 
Miltun, Lycidas; P. L. 3: 596, 671; 6: $59; 10: 
620; P. R. 9:422; Comus 641; Dr^den, Alexan- 
der's Feast 6; Shakespeare, M.N. Dream 5:1; 
Rich. III. I : 4; 2 Hen. IV. 5 : 3. Hecate : Shake- 
speare, Macb. 4: I. Sleep and Death: Shelley, To 
Nijjht; H. K. White, Thanatos. 

Id Art. — Painling of a Fury by M. Angelo 
(Uffiii, Florence), 

S$ 52''54- -^ce next page for Genealogical Table. 
Divinities of the Sea. 

For stories of the Grate, Gorgons, Scylla« Sireos, 
Pleiades, etc., consult InHtx. 

Illustrative. — Oceanus : Milton. Comus 86S. 
Nflptime: .Spenser, F. Q. I, 11:54; Shakespeare. 
Tempest 1:2; M. N. Dream 3:2; Mscb. 3:3; 
Cymbcline 3: l; Hamlet 1 : l; Milton, l.ycitjas; P. 
R. 1 : 190; P. L. 9: 18; Comus 869; Prior, Ode on 
Taking of Namur; Waller's pBneg)'ric to the Lord 
Protector. 

Harpies. — Milton, P. L. 3:403. Sirens: Wm. 
Morris, Life and Death of Jason — Song of ibe 
Sirens. Scylla and Cbarybdis (see Itultjc) : Mil- 
ton, P. L. 2:66o; Arcades 63; Comus 257; Pope, 
Rape of Lock 3: 12J. Sirens; Rossetti's Sea-SpcU. 



COMMENTARY. 



433 



NaUds. — tAndor, To Joseph Ablett; 
Shelley, To Liberty 8; Spenser, Prothala- 
mion 19; Milton, Lycidas; P. R. 2: 355; 
Comus 254; Ijuchanan, Naiad, see § 120; 
Drummond of Hawthornden, "Nymphs, sis- 
ter nymphs, which haunt this crystal brook. 
And happy in these floating bowers abide,'* 
etc.; Pope, Summer 7; Armstrong, Art of 
Preserving Ifealth, "Come, ye Naiads! to 
the fountains lead." 

Proteua. — Shakesptare, Two Gen. oF Ve- 
rona l:l; 3:2; 3:2; 4:4; Pope's Dun> 
ciad 1:37; 2:109. The Water Deities are 
presented in a masque contained in Beaumont 
and Fletcher's Maid's Tragedy. 

In Art. — Neptune : on the eastern end of 
the Parthenon frieze. The Atlas (Gracco- 
Koman sculpture) in National Museum, Na- 
pics; the Triton in Vatican. Modern paint- 
ing: J. Van Beers, The Siren; O. G. Rossetti. 

§56. lUustratire. — Saturn : Milton, II 
Pens. ; Greene, Arraignment of Paris. 
Fauns: Milton, Lycidas. (See Hawthorne's 
Marble Faun.) Bellop a : Shakespeare, Macb., 
"Bellona's bridegroom, lapped in proof"; 
Milton, P. I„ 2:922. Pomona: Randolph, 
To Master Anthony Staiford; Milton, P. L. 
9 '393; 5 • 37®; Thomson, Seasons, Summer 
663. Flora: P. L. 5:16; Spenser, F. Q. i, 
4: 17; R. H. Stoddard, Arcadian Hymn to 
Flora; Pope, Windsor Forest 38. Janas: 
Jonathan Swift, To Janus, on New Year's Day, 
1726; Egeria, one of the CamenK; Childc 
Harold 4: 1 15-120; Tennyson, Palace of Art. 
"Holding one hand against his ear," etc. Pas, 
etc.: Milton, P. L. 4: 707; 4: 329. 

In Sculpture. — The Faun of Praxiteles 
(Vatican, copy); Dancing Faun (Lateran, 
Rome); Dancing Faun, Drunken Faun, 
Sleeping Faun, and Faun and Bacchus (Na- 
tional Museum, Naples); The Barberini 
Faun, or Sleeping Satyr (Glyptotbek, Munich). 



I i 






£f 



,'jfJ 



c 




Flora. — Painting by Titian (Uffiii, Florence). 

§ 57- The first love of Zcm was MetJ a. d «ug|itgr of Qcoous aad Telb^ ^ 
S hg is Prudence or Foreknowledge . She warced Zem that if the bore him 5 
child, it would be Ef f TlTF \hap"TIL Whereupo n Zetia siy ttHowcd her : jod 
t imCi from his head, tpranc Athfiy, •• th e virgin of the arure ^^ ^fluai^ 
streDgtb, and as her father wise " (He&iod, Thcoy.). On Latona, sec $$ 37, 
73, and (!!omnientary. 

§ 58. For Danae, see § 134; for Alcmene, § 139; for Leda, $ 165 ^. 

§ 59. Tn the follow ing general table of the Race of iDAChua, marriages are 
indicated in the usual manner (by the sign =. or by parentheses); the more 
important characters mentioned in this work are printed in beavy-face tvpc. 
While numerous less important branches, families, and mythical individuals ha 
been intentionally omitted, it is hoped that this reduction of various relation 
ships, elsewhere explained or tabulated tu a general scheme, may furnish the 
reader with a clearer conception of the family tics that motivate many of the 
incidents of mythical adventure, and that must have been comiuonplac 
information to those who invented and perpetuated these stories. U should 
be borne in nimJ that the traditions concerning relationships are by no meanft 
consistent, and that consequently the collation of mythical genealogies demands 
the continual exercise of discretiun, and a balancing of prohahi]iUe». 

Inachus is the principal river of Argolis in the Peloponnesus. 

Interpretative. — lo is explainct) as the horn^it moon, in its various changes 
and wan<lerings.^ ArgUS is (be heaven with its myriad stars, some of them 
shut, some blinking, some always agleam. The wand of Hermes and bis 
music may be the morning breeze, at the coming of which the eyes of beavea 
close (Cox 2: 138; PrcUer 3:40). The explanation would, however, be jusl 
as probable if Mercury (Hermes) were a cloud-driving wind. Pan and the 
SyritUi: naturally the wind playing through the reeds, if (with MUller and 
Cox) we take Pan to be the all-purifying, but, yet, gentle wind. Rut see p. 200. 
Dlustrative. —Shelley, To the Moon: "An thou pale for weariness Of 
climbing heaven and gazing on the earth, Wandering corapanionless Among 
the stars that have a different birth?" Milton's "To behold the wandering 
moon. Hiding near her highest noon, Like one that had Iwen led astrav, 
Through the heaven's wide pathless way" (11 Pcnseroso). See also for lo,. 
Shelley's Prometheus Bound. ArgUS: Pope, Dunciad 2:374: 4:637. 

In Art. ^Corrcggio's painting, Jupiter and lo; nut a pleasant conception. 

$ 60. Interpretative. — The myth of Callisto and Areas is of Arcadian 
origin. If the Arcadians, in very remote limes, traced their <lescent fn>m a 
she-hear, and if they also, like other races, recognized a bear in a certatrt 
constellation, they migbt naturally mix the fables *and combine them later 
with the legend of the all-powerful Zeus (Ijing 2: 181). According to 

iBuliBep.4i5,$34. 



4 





CLASSIC MYTHS IN ENGUSH LITERATURE. 

another account, Callisto was puni&hed for her love of Jupitec by Dtau 
(Artemis). Her name has been identilied with the adjective CaUisU (mrft 
fair), which was certainly applied to Artemis herself. That Artemis «is 
protectress oi shc-beara is known; also that, in Attica, she was served by 
girls who imitated, while danciDg. the gait of t>carv It is quite posaibte, 
therefore, that .Artemis inherited a more ancient worship of the bear, that raiy 
have been the toteni^ or sacred animal, from which the .\rcadians traced % 
mythological descent- Others bold Chat the word arkxha, a staT» became 
confused with the Greek arktos^ a bear. So the myth of the son Areas 
(the star and the bear) may have arisen (Max Miiller). The last star in the 
Uil of the Little Bear is the Polc-Star, or Cynosure (dog*s uU). 

lUusttative. — Milton's '* Let my lamp at midnight hour Be seen in loilie 
high lonely tower. Where I may oft outwatch the Bear " (U Pcnseroso); and 
his "Where perhaps some beauty lies The Cynosure of neighb'ring eyes" 
(L' Allegro); also his "And thou shall be our star of A ready, Or Tyrian 
Cynosure" (Comus). Note Lowell's "The Bear that prowled all night about 
the fold Of the North-star hath shrunk into his den" (Prometheus). See 
also the song beginning *' Hear ye, ladies, that despise Wliat the mighty Love 
hath done," in Beaumont and Fletcher's drama, Valentinian, — for Caltislo, 
Lcda» and Danac. 

I 6i. The Descendants of Agenor. — For general table, see § 59 C 

Table E. 

Mars * Vcn*i» Acenor 



H»TOOoia - Cadmus Buropa » Jupiter FhcEnix 



Cilu 



I Minos Rhadamantfaui Sarpcdoa 

Semele ^ Jupiter Ino > AthaiMU AntonoK • Amta>u« Agave Polydurus 

Bacchus Meltoenes Acueoo PetitWus LabMCu* 

(16") (Ji»9) CI •9) (M'<«.i03) , I 

CEdiptu 
(royal rainilr of Thct 

Textual. — Moschus lived about the close of the third century B.C. to 
Syracuse. He was a grammarian and an idyllic poet. He calls himself a 
pupil of Bion. — whose lament fur Adonis is given in § 93. Both Bion and 
Moschus belong to the School of Theocritus — the Idyllic or Pastoral School 
of Poetry. Cypris : Venus, by whom the island of Cyprus was beloTed. 





COMMENTARY. 



437 



UygdooUo flutes : the mncients had three species or modes of music, depend- 
ing, respectively, upon the succession of musical intervals which was adopted 
as ihe basis of the system. The Lydian measures were shrill and lively; the 
Doitan deep in tone, grave, and solemn; the Mygdonian, or Phrygian, were 
supposed by some to have been the same as the Lydian; but more probably 
they were a combination of Lydian and Dorian. Shaker of Uie World : 
Neptune. Crete: where Jupiter had beea concealed from his father Cronus, 
and nourished by the guat Amalthca. 

Interpretative. — Herodotus says that Europa was a historical princess of 
Tyre, carried off by Hellenes to Crete. Taunu (the buU) was euhemeris- 
tically conceived to be a king of Crete who carried off the Tynan princess as 
prize of war. Others said that probably the figure-head of the ship In which 
Europa was conveyed to Crete was a hull. It is not improbable that the story 
indicates a settlement of Phccnicians in Crete and llic intrnduclion by them of 
cattle. Modern critics, such as Prellcr and Wclckcr, make Luropa a goddess 
of the moon = Diina or Asiarte, and translate her name " the dark, or obscured 
one/' But she has undoubtedly a ccnneclioD uith the earth, perhaps as wife 
of Jupiter (the Heaven). H. D. MQller connects both lo and Europa with 
the wandering Demctcr (or Ceres), and considers Demeter to be a guddest 
both of the moon and of the earth (Helbig, in Roscher). Cox, after his 
usual method, linds here the Dawn borne across the heaven by the lurd of the 
pure clhcr. Europa would then be the broad-spreading flush of dawn, seen 
first in the purple region of morning (Phcenicia). Her brother Cadmus, who 
pursues her, would be the sun searching for his lost sister or bride. Very 
fanciful, but inconclusive. The bull occurs not infrequently in myth as an 
incarnation of deity. 

niustrative. — W. S. Landor, Europa and her Mother; Aubrey De Verc, 
The Rape of Europa; K. Duwden, Europa; W. W. Story, Europa. a sonnet. 
See also a graceful pictiirc in Tenn>-son's Palace of Art. 

In Art. — The marble group in the Vatican, Europa riding the Bull; paint- 
ing by Paul Veronese, The Rape of Europa; Europa, by Claude Lorrain. 

§ 62. Sec tables, D and E in §§ 59 and 61. 

Interpretative. — According to Preller, Semele is a personification of the 
fertile stiil in spring, which brings forth the productive vine. In the irrational 
part of the myth, Jove takes the child Dionysus (Bacchus) after Semele's 
death, and sews him up in his thigh for safe keeping. Preller finds here *' the 
wedlock of heaven and earth, the tirst day that it thunders in Match." Ex- 
actly why, might be easy to guess, but bard to demonstrate. The thigh of 
Jupiter would have tu be the cool moist clouds brooding over the youthful 
vine. The whole explanation is altogether too conjectural. See A. Lang 
2: a3i-22j, for t more plausible but less poetic theory. 




UI.C 



lUufltrative. — Buwring's tratmlation of Schillei^a Semele; 
Semclc, of which a part is given in the text 

§ 63. Textual. — The wn of -tgina and Jove wu .'Eacus (for g< 
see § 165 ( [ ) C). JBglna : an island in the Saronic Gulf, between Attica and 
Argolis. AfiOpas: the name of two riven, une tn Acbada, one in Ikxotia, of 
which the latter is the more important The Greek traveller, Pau&anias. telb 
us that Asopiu was the discoverer of the river which bears his name. Sisy- 
phus, see § 175. This description of the plague is copied by Ovid from tbe 
account which Thucydides g'ves of the plague of Athens. That accitust, 
much fuller than is here given, was drawn from life, and has been the source 
from which many subsequent poets and novelists have draw^i details uf sun 
scenes. The Myrmidons were, during the Trojan War, the S4:ilLlier% of Ac 
leS| grandson uf this king /ICacus. 

Interpretative. — The name iBgilU may implv either the shore on wfaieb 
the waves break (Prcllcr), or the sacred goat (.-^^Mi), which was the Uttm 
of the .iEgeus-family of Attica. The worship of Athene was introduced into 
Athens by this family. In saaiRces the goddess was ckd in the skin of the 
sacred goal, but nu guat might l>e sacrificed to her. Probably another example 
of the survival of a savage ritual (Lang I. 2So^. 

Illustrative. — Myrmidons : — 

" No. no. said Khadnmant, it were not well, 
Wilh loving souls to place a mortialist; 
He died in war. and must 10 martia! fields. 

Where wounded Hector lives in lasting pain. 
And Achilles' Myrmidons do scour Ihe plain." 

Kyd, Spanish Tra^dy. 
On Sisyphus, read Lewis Morris' poem in the Epic of Hades. 

$64. Textual. —Maenad: the Mxnades were women who danced 
selves into a frenzy in the urgies or festivals of Uacchus, from fialfo^uxi 
ncmai)t to rage. ClthsroD ; a mountain range soath of Thebes and betweca 
Ikeoti.! and Attica. 

Interpretatire. — Antiope, philologically interpreted, may indicate the 
moon with face turned full upon us. That Antiopc is a pcrsonilication oC^| 
some such natural phenomena would also appear from the significance of the '^^ 
names associated with hers in the myth : Nycteus, the night-m/fn ; X^jcatf 
the /uaH of light. .Xmphion and Zethns are thought, in like fashion, I0 
represent manifentations of light: see also Castor and Pollux. Perhaps the 
method employed by Zethns and Amphion in building 11iet>es may merely 
symbolize the advantage of combining mechanical force with well-ordered fir 
harmonious thought 

In Art. — Modem painting; Corrcggio's Antiopc. 




ihem^ 
tweca-S 






COMMENTARY. 



§65. Textual. — Phrygia: a proWnce in Asia Minor. Kor Minerva's 
protection of the olive, sec § 67. TyanA is a town in Cappadocia, Asia Minor. 

§66. Textual. —Argos: the capital of ArgoHs in the Peloponnesas. Of 
Cydippe, it is told, in Ovid's Heruidcs and elsewhere, that, when a girl sacri> 
licing in the temple of Diana in Delos, she was seen and loved by a youth, 
Acontius. He threw before her an apple, on which these words were inscrihed* 
" I swear hy the sanctuary of Diana to marry Acontius.*' The maiden lead 
oluud the worUs, and threw the apple away. But the vow was registered by 
Diana, who, in spile of many delays, hnm^ht about the marriage of Cydippe 
and her unknown lover. Polyclitus the Elder of Argos lived abuut 431 B.C., 
and was a contemporary of two other great sculptors, Phidias and Myron. 
His greatest work was the chryselephantine statue of Hera for her temple 
between Argos and Mycenae. 

Illustrative. — Beside Gosse*s Sons of Cydippe, see verse* by L. J. Rich- 
ardson, in The Inlander, Ann Arbor, Vol. 2:2. Kor the story of Acontius 
and Cydippe. see William Morris' Earthly Paradise; and Lytlon's Cydippe 
or The Apples: The Lost Talcs of Miletus. 

In Art. — The wonderfully graceful and severe design in clay by Tcign- 
mouth, of which prints may be obtained, was made to illustrate Cossc's poem. 

§67. Textual. — For CecropS, see § 151. He named the city that he 
founded Cecropia, — a name which afterwards clung to Athens. For au 
excellent description of ancient weaving, sec Catullus 64:304-323 (The 
Pcleus and Thetis). For translation, see § 165 a. Leda, mother of Ca&tor, 
Pollux, Helen, and Clytcmncstra, see § 165 c and Commentary. Danae, 
mother of Perseus, see § 134. 

Interpretative, — ITic waves were the coursers uf Neptune: the horses 
with which he scours the strand. Aiachne: a princess of Lydia. It is 
probable thai the myth symbolizes the competition in products of the loom 
between Attica and .\sia Minor and the superior handicraft of the Athe- 
nian weavers. 

Illustrative. — Araclme: Shakespeare, Troil. and Cressida 5:2; Pope, 
Donciad 4: 590. Poem: Garrick, Upon a Lady's Embroidery. 

§ 68. Textual. — Diomede : for his genealogy, see § 148 C. or 132 (5) C. 
Taslets: armor worn about the thighs. Cyprian: Venus. Psan (Paeon, 
or Paieon), classed by Homer among the Olympian gods, of whom he is, as 
his name implies, the ** healer." Later, the name was applied to .1*iculapius, 
then to any god who might repair or avert evil of any kind, as, for instance, 
to Apollo and to Thanatos (Dcatli). See Armstrong's Art of Health, ".So 
Pxan, so the powers of Health command," etc., and '• the wbe of ancient 
days Adored one power of physic, melody and song." Psans were chants in 
honor of Apollo, sung to deprecate misfortune in battle, or to avert disease 




CLASSIC MYTHS IN BNGLISfl UTERATVRE. 



Lower tliAn the sons of HeaTen : lower tbao the Txtaxn, tons of Utim 
(Heaven), who were plunged into TarUrus (see % 17). 

I 69. Textual, — LcssiDg points out in hit LaocoOo the artistic skSl «it^ 
which Homer, stating the size of the stone faarled b/ Minerra waX the measarr 
of tbe space covered by Mara, suggests the gigantic proportioiu of the wami^ 
divinities. 

§ 70. Textual. — Kamily of Cadmus : see Table* D and E, \% 59-61. 
Conunentary. Castalian Cave of Mount rarnassus. Phocis; here <rts li« 
famous Delphic oracle of Apollo. (Sec § 38.) Ceph-ifiaus : a river raiuiBi 
through Doris, Phocis, and Ikeotia into the EuiMtran Ciulf; the raUey of the 
Cephissus was noted fur its fertility. Panope: a town on the Ctphisas. 
TyriaDs: Cadmus and bis followers came from Tyre in Phoenicia. The 
Necklace of HarmonU was a fateful gift. It brought evil to wfaomsoctfr 
it belonged: to all the descendants of Cadmus; to Hriphyle, wife of Aai^> 
araus of Argos, to whom Pulynicea gave it; and to the sons of Eriphyle. U 
was finally dedicated to Apollo in Delphi. Harmooia's robe pooseased tbe 
same fatality. §g 163, 1640. Enchelians: a people of lUyria. For the 
myths of Semele, see § 62; of Ino, § 129; of Autonoe and her *on, Actcon, 
§ 89; of Agave and her son, Pentheus, § 103: of Polydortis, the labda* 
cids, CEdipus, etc., § 159. £igbt yeara: the usual pcriofl of penancc- 
Apollo, after »laying the Python, had lo clear himself of blood*gudtin<ss hj 
ser\ing Arlmctus for eight ycare (§ 80), 

Interpretative. — Cadmus and his Tyrians: according to tbe usaai 
explanation, this myth is based upon an immigration of Phoenicians, who settled 
Bceolia, and gave laws, tlic rudiments of culture (alphabet, etc.)* and indal* 
tri&l arts to tbe older races of Greece. Many Thcban names, such as Meli- 
certes, Cadmus, point to a possible Phoenician origin; <f. Semitic Mclkarlh, 
and Kedcm, the East. But Prellcr hohls that two mythical personages, a 
Greek Cadmus and a Phcenician Cadmus, have been confounded; that ihr 
Theban Cadmus is merely the rcprescntalivc of the oldest Theban state; that 
the selection of the spot on which a heifer bad lain down was a freq 
practice among settlers, superstitious about the site of their new town; 
the dragon typifies the cruel and forbidrling nature of the unculllvale^l sur 
roundings; that the story of the dragon's teeth was manufactured lo llsttcr 
the warlike spirit of the Thebans, the teeth themselves being spear-points. 

Harmonia, daughter of the patron deities of Thebes, b the symbol of the 
peace and domesticity thai attend the final establishment of order in the Stale. 

According to the Sun-and-Cloud tlieory of Cox. Cadmus, the Sun 
his sister, Kuropa, the bruad-flushing light of Dawn, who has been carried 
on a spotless cloud (the Bull). Tbe Sun. of course, must journey further 
than Crete. Tbe heifer that he is to follow is, therefore, still another < 



that . 

4 





COMMENTARY, 



(like the irattle of the Sun: clouds. § 171). The dragon of Mars is stUl a 
third cloud; and this the Sun dissipates. A stonn follows, after which new 
conflicts arise between the clouds that have sprung up from the moistened 
earth (the har^'est of armed men!). This kind uf explanation, tndiscrimi- 
nately indulged, delights the fancy of the inventor and titillates the risibles of 
the reader. 

niustrative. — Milton, P. I.. 9:506. The serpent that tempted Eve: 
compared with the serpents Cadmus and *' Mermione." See Ityron, Don Juan 
J : 86, " You have the letters Cadmus gave; Think you he meant them for a 
sUve ? " 

§ 7t. Textual. — Eurynome is represented by some as one of the Titans. 
the wife of Ophinn. Ophion and t'urynonie, according to one legend, ruled 
over heaven before the age of Saturn (Cronus). So Millou, P. L., ** And 
fabled how the serpent, whom they called Ophion, with Eurynomi! (the wide- 
Encroaching Eve perhaps), had (irst the rule Of high Olympus, thence by 
Saturn driven." According to Vulcan's statement (Iliad 1 8), Eurynome was 
daughter of Oceanus and Tethys. She was mother, by Jupiter, of the Graces. 
Thetis: sec §§ 52, 165 (l), etc. Xanthus : the principal river of Lycia 
in Asia Minor. 

$ 72. Interpretative. — Latona (Leto) : According to Homer, one of the 
deities of Olympus; a daughter of the Titans Cocus and Phnebe, whose names 
indicate phenomena of radiant light. She belonged, perhaps, to an ancient 
theogony of .Vsia Minor. At any rate she held at one time the rank of lawful 
wife to Zeus. Prellcr and, after him, Cox, take I^to as the dusk or dark- 
ness. Cox lra c_C8 the word 10 the root of Lethe (ihe. for | ^etfid^ . but Prellcr is 
doubtful. Possibly l.et'j and l.cda (the muther oi the bright Castor and 
Pollux) have something in common. The wanderings of l^tona may be the 
weary journey of the night over the mountain -tope, both before and after the 
Sun (Apollo) is born, in Delos (the land of Dawn). See also §§ 37. 57, and 
Commentary thereon. 

Illustratire. — Milton, Arcades; sonnet 7, "On the detraction which 
followed upon his writing certain treatises." 

§ 73- Textual. — Hyperboreans : those who dwell in the land beyond the 
North. Psan, see § 68 C. Tityus: an earth-bom giant; condemned to 
the underworld, he lay stretched over nine acres while two vultures devoured 
his liver (§ 21). 

Interpretative. — Python : In m any savage mytha, a serpent, a frog, or a 
liz ard that drinks up all the waters, is fic5troyc<l l>v nnm c national hero or god . 
As Mr. Lang says : " Whether the slaying af the P>thon was or was not origi- 
nally an allegory of the defeat of winter by sunlight, it certainly, at a very early 
period, became mixed up with ancient legal ideas and local traditions. It Is 







CLASS/C MYTHS IN ENGUS/f l/TEftA TVRE, 

almost as necessary for a young god or brrci to slay rounstcrs as for a 

lady to he presented at court; and we may hesitate to explain all these lege 
uf an useful feat of courage as nature myths" (Myth, Ritual, etc., 3: i 
Compare the feats of Hercules, Jason, Dellcropbon, iVrscus, St. George &od 
the Dragon, Sigurd, and Jack the (Jiaot-killer. Cununentators take P^lhoa 
l>e the rigor of winter, or the darkness of uight. or a ** black stomi*cloud whu 
shuts up the waters" (Cox). It is not im[>ossiblc that the Python wu 
«acred iinake of an older animal-warship superseded by that of Apollo. 

§74. Textual. — The Tvrian hue is purple , m ade from the juice of th e 
mm rtjif or pu rple shi-ll-hsh . K »n the leaves uf the hyacinth wrrc inscnbf') 
characters like Ai. Ai, the Greek exclamation of woe. It is evidently not our 
modern hyacinth that is here described, but perhaps some species of iris, or of 
larkspur, or pansy. The meaning of the name is also uncertain, but the Imsh 
authorities favor youthful. A festival callctJ the HyaclDthia was celebrated, 
in commemoration of the myth, over a large part of the Peloponnesus. It 
lasted some nine or eleven days, probably in the first half of May. It c 
of chants of lamentation and fasting during the first days; during the* 
days, of processions, joyous choral songs, dances, feasting, and sacritice. 
^ Interpretative. — Most scholars consider Ilyacinthus to be the pcrsooifi' 
tion of the blooming vegetation of spring, which withers under the heats of 
summer. The llyacinthian festival seems to have celebrated —like the liook 
festival and the Eleusinian — the transitory nature of life and the hope of 
immortality- 
Illustrative. — Kcals, F.n.hTni nn. " l*itying the sad death Of Hyacinth 
when the cool Ifrcatli Of Zcpliyr slew him" (see context); Milton's Lycida^ 
'* Like to thai sanguine flower inscribed with woe." | 

§75. Textual. — Clymene: a daughter of Oceanus and Tethys. Chryio- 
lite : or " gnl<!-stone,'*our tnpnz. Da jstar : sec Phosphor, § 4 J ( 1 1 ) . Ambro- 
sia (dfu^p^iriot, ifi^poros, d-ffpordt) •'immortal." — here, "food for the imm'»r- 
laU." Turn Ofi to the left : indicating the course of the sun, west by suutli. 
rhe Serpent, or Dragon: a constellation between the Great and Little Bcart 
Bootes r ihc LunslcUation called the Wagoner. The limits of the ScorpiOD were 
restricted by the insertion uf the sign of the Scales. Athos : a mountain forming 
the eastern of three peninsulas south of Macedonia. Mount Taurus : in Ar- __ 
menia. Mount Tmolus: in Lydia. Mount OSte: between Thcssaly and /Etolia»dl 
where Hercules ascended his funeral pile. Ida : the name of two mountaini, *" 
— one in Crete, where Jupiter was nurtured by Amalthea; the other in Phrygii, 
near Troy. Mount Helicon : in Bceotia, sacred also to Apollo. MoontHsmns: 
in llirace MiuA: in Sicily. Pamassus: in Phocis; one peak was ucre*! 
to Apollo, the other to the Muses. The Costalian Spring, sacred to the 
Muses, is at the foot uf the mountain; Delphi is near by. Rhodope: part 









COMMENTARY. 



443 



of the Hxinus range of mountains. Scythia : a general designation of 
Europe and Asia north of the Black Sea. Caucasus: between the Black 
and Caspian seas. Hount OsSA : a&sociatcd with Mount Pelion in the story 
of the giants who piled one on top of the other in their attempt to scale 
Olympus. These mountains, with Pindus, are in Thcs>aly. Libyan dcs* 
crt : in Africa. Libya was fabled tu have been the (laughter of Epaphus, 
king of Egypt. Tanai's: the Uun, in Scythia. Caicus : a river of Greater 
Mysia, Bo^nng into the sea at Lesbos. Xanthus an^l Mseander: rivers of 
Phrygia, flowing near Troy. Cayster: a river of Ionia, noted for its so-called 
"tuneful" swans. For Nereus, Doris, Nereids, etc., sec § 52. Eridanua : 
the mythical name of the river Po in Italy (amber was found on its banks). 
Naiads, § 54 (6). 

Interpretative. — Apollo assumed many of the a ttributes of Heli os, the 
older divinity of the sun, who is ordinarily reputed lo be the father of Phaethon 
(ordinarily anglicized PhaSlon). The name Phaethon^ like the name Phaims^ 
means " t he radiant on e." The sun is called both l lcljos Phaethon and He - 
li os Phoebus in Home r. It was an easy feat of the imagination lo make Phae- 
thon the incautious sun of Helios, or Apollo, and to suppose that extreme 
drought is caused by his careless driving of his father's chariot. The drought 
is succeeded by a thunderstorm, and by lightning which puts an end to Phae- 
thon. The rain that succeeds the lightning is, according to Cox, the tears of 
the Heliades. It is hardly wise to press the analogy so far, unless one is 
prepared to explain the amhfr in the same way. 

Illustrative. — Milman in his Samor alludes to the story. See also Chau- 
cer, H. of F. 435; Spenser, F. Q. I, 4: 9; Shakespeare, Rich. IL 3 : 3; Two 
Ocn. of Verona 3 : I ; 3Hen.VLi:4; 2:6; Rom. and Jul. 3: 2. Poems: 
Prior, Female Phaeton; J. G. Saxe, Phaeton; and G. .Meredith, PhaCton. 
For description of the palace and chariot of the Sun, sec Landor. Gebir, Bk. i. 

% 76. TextuaL — For (he siege of Troy, see Chap. XXV. Atrides 
(Atreides) : the son of .Atrcus, Agamemnon. The ending ides means ^on of, 
and is used in patronymics; for instance, Pclides (Pcteides), Achilles; Tydide», 
Diomedc, son of Tydeus. Tlie ending is, in patronymics, means daughter of ; 
as Tyndari.s daughter of Tyndarus (Tyndarcus), Helen; Chryscis, daughter 
of ChryscB. 



4^1 



CLASSIC MYTJiS J.V ENGUSH UTRRATURE. 



{ 77. The Dyiusty o{ Tantalus and its Conoectiona. — See also { ip_ 
(5)C 

Table F. 



Ju|Micr s Antu>p£ ({ &4) 



Atlu AilM 

los > Diane Man — Scempc fl. 

(k. of Phrygia) | 
I CEoomaus 



Japiter 



Amphion > If iolw 

7 loot and 7 daughters 

(§77) 



Pelopt 
Minoft II. (1 149) 



HippoJainia 



I r^ 

A£rope « Atreu« 



I 

Agamemnon 



Thyesta 



! 

fiCenelauft 



! 

[Stlheua 

(Ic. of Trooen) 




Pelops. — It is said that the gwldf ss Demetcr in a fit of absent-mindi 
ate the shouKler of Pcloj>s. The part was replaced in ivory when Pclopt 
restored to life. Monat Cynthus : in Delo«. where ApoUo and Diana were born. 

Interpretative. — Max MuUer derives Niol>e from the foot smu^ or in\ 
from which come the words for iHtnexxi the Indo-European languagea. 
Latin and Greek, the stem is Niv^ hence Nib, Niobe. The myth, therefo 
wouhl signify the melting of snow and the destruction of its icy oflhspring 
under the rays of the spring sun (Sci. Rclig. 373). According to Homei 
(Iliad 24; 6m), there were rix sons and six datighten. After their death 
no one coald bury them, since all who looked on them were turned to stone. 
The burial was. accordingly, performed on the tenth day after the massa- 
cre, by Jupiter and the other gods. This petrifaction of the onlookers may 
indicate the operation of the frost. Cux says that Niobe, the snow, compai 
her golden- tinted, wintry mists or clouds with the splendor of the sun 
moon. Others louk upon the myth as significant of the withering of 
vegetation under the heats of summer (Preller). The latter csrptanation 
as satisfactory, for spring is the child of uinter (Niobe). 

Illuatrative. — Pope. Dunciad 2:311; I-cwis Morris, Niobe on Sipyll 
(Songs Unsung); Byron's noble stania on fallen Rome, ♦•The Xiobe 
nations ! there she stands, childless and crownlcss in her voiceless woe,*' ct( 
Childe Harold 4:79; W. S. Landor, Niobe; Frederick Tennyson, Niol 
On Tantalus, Lewis Morris, Tantalus, in the Epic of Hades. Qo Sir Rit 
ard Blackmore. a physician and poor poet, Thomas Moore writes the foUoini 
stanza : — 

" 'Twos in his carriage the sublime 
Sir Richard Blackmore used to rhyme^ 




COMMENTARY. 



445 



And, !f the wits don't do him wrong, 

'Twixt death and epics passed his time, 

Scribbling and killing all day long; 

Like l^iQcbus in hta car at ease, 
Now wjrbUng forlh a lofty song, 
Now murdering the young Niobes." 

In Art. — The restoration of the stattie ofNiobe, MountSipyliu; ofestreme 

antiqjily. The illustration in the text is from a statue in the Imperial Gallery 
of l-'lorcncc. U is the principal hgurc of a group supposed wrongly to 
have been arranged in the pediment of a temple. The tigure of the mother. 
clasped by the arm of her lerriticd child, is one of the most admired of the 
ancient statues. It ranks with the Laocoon and the Apollo Belvedere among 
the masterpieces uf art. The following is a translation of a Oreek epigram 
supposed to relate to this statue : — 

" To stone the gods have changed her, but in vain; 
The sculptor's art has made her brenihe again." 

Tbete u a headless daughter of Niobe in the Vatican, Rome. 

§ 78. Interpretatire. — The month in which the festival of Linus took 
place was called the Lambs' Month: the days were the Lambs' Days^ on 
one of which was a massacre of dugs. Possibly, the myth illustrates the heat 
of the dog days (atlribuled to Sirius, the dog-star) and the peril to which 
children were liable during the hut season. According to lomc, Linus was a 
minstrel, son of ApuUu and the Muse Urania, and the teacher of Orpheus and 
Hercules. The Linus-sung (cum]>used by Linus or sung in honor of him) is 
placed by Homer (Iliad 18: 570^ in the mouth of a boy who accompanies 
himself on the citbara, \vhile the vintagers are at work, 

§ 79. Centaurs. — Monsters represented as men from the head to the 
loins, while the remainder of the body was that of a horse. Centaurs are 
the only monsters of antiquity to which any good traits were assigned. 
They were admitted to the companionship of men. Chiron was the wisest 
and justest of the Centaurs. At his death he was placed by Jupiter among 
the stars as the constellation Sagittarius (the Archer). Mesaenia: in the 
Peloponnestu. ^sculapius : there were numerous oracles of /TCsculapius, 
but the most celebrated was at F.piilaurus. Here the sick sought responses 
and the recovery of their health by steeping in the temple. It has been inferred 
from Ihc accounts that have come down to us that the treatment of the sick 
resembled what is now called animal magnetism or mesmerism. 

Serpents were sacred to /Ksculapius, probably because of a superstition that 
those animals have a faculty of renewing their youth by a change of skin. 
The worship of ^-l^ulapius was introduced into Rome in a time of great sick- 



446 



CLASSIC MYTHS AV ENGUSH LITERATURE, 



Dcst. An embusy sent to tbe temple of Epidaums to entreat i^c wA d 
the god waft propitiously received; and on the return of the ship .Ctct 
Upius accompanied it in llie form <>{ a serpent. Arrivin|{ in tlic river Tiba. 
tbe serpent glided from the vessel and took possession of an isUnd, upon wbkii 
% temple was soon erected to his honor. 

InterpreUtiTe. — The healing powcn of nature tnar be here sijonbolicel 
But it is tnore likely that the family of Asclepiadx {%. medical clan} ia- 
vented Asclepios, as, at once, their ancestor and the son of the god u( bal- 
ing, Apollo. 

Ulufltrative. — Milton, r. L. 9:5061 Shakespeare, Periclei 3:3; Mew? 
Wivci 2 : 3. 

In Art. — .'^sculapius (sculpture), Vatican; ThorwaldscnV (ficulpcvrc) 
Hygen (Health) anrl .^.scuUpius. Copenhagen. 

§ 80. InterpreUltivB. — Perhaps the unceasing and unvarying roupd ^ 
the sun led to the conception of him as a servant. Max MiUIcr cites the 
Peruvian Inca who said that if the sun were free, like 6re, he would visit De« 
parts of the heavens. " He i»," said the Inca, " like a lied beast wh" jjoef 
ever round and round in the same track" (Chips. 3: 113). Nearly all Greek 
heroes had to undergo servitude, — Hercules, Perseus, etc No stories arc 
more beautiful or more lofty than those which express the hope, innate in the 
human heart, that somewhere and at some lime some god has lived as a vaxa 
among men and for the good of men. Such stories are not confined to ihc 
Greeks or the Hebrews. 

Illustrative. — R. Browning, Apollo and the Fates; Edith M. Thomas. 
Apollo the Shepherd; Emma Lazarus, Admetus; W. M. \V. Call, Admetut 

§ 81. Textual. — Alcestis was a daughter of the Pclias who was kiUe<l at 
the instigation of Medea (§ 145, etc.). In that affair Alcestis took no part. 
For her family, sec § 133 (5) C or 95 C She was held in the highest 
honor in Greek fable, and ranked with Penelope and Laodamia, the latin 
of whom was her niece. To explain the myth as a physical allegory would 
be easy, but is it not more likely that the idea of su^uifution linds cs- 
pression in the myth? — that idea of atonement by sacrifice, which ts »ttg- 
gested in the words of (.Edipus at Colonus (§ l6l)* "I'or one soul work'uig in 
the strength of love Is mightier than ten thousand to atone," — the truth that 
was exeroplilicd by the life and death of Christ Kor6 (the daughter nf 
Ceres) : Proserpina. Lariasa : a city of Thcssaly, on the river Pencils. 

lUUBtrative. — Milton's sonnet On his Deceased Wife, 

" Mclhou^hl I saw my laic espoused saint 

Brought to mc like Alcestis from (he grave. 
Whom Jove's great son to her glad husband gave. 
Rescued from death by force, though pale and faiuL" 




Cb»ncer, I^g. G. W. 208 tt wy. ; Court of Love f ?) 100 f/ «f. 





COMMENTARY. 

Poema. — Robert Browning's noble poem, Balaostion's Adventure, pur- 
ports to be » paraphrase of the Alcestis of Euripides, but while it maintains 
the classical spirit, it is in execution one uf the sweetest original poems of mod- 
ern limes. The l.ovc of Alcestis by William Morris; Mrs. Hcmons, The Alcev 
lis of Alficri and The Death Song of Alcestis; \V. S. Landor, Mercules, Pluto, 
Alcesliii, and Admetus; K T. I'algravc, Alcestis; W. M. W. C!aU, Alcestis. 

§ 82. Textual. — This Laomcdon was descended through Dardanus (the 
forefather of the Trojan race) from Jupiter and the riciad Elcctra. For 
farther information about him, see §§ 132 (5) C, 108, 142. 

Interpretative. — Apollo evidently fulfils, under Laomedon, his function 
as god of culoniratioti. 

§83. Textual. — Kur Pan, see §§ 47 (1), 116. For Tmolus, § 75. 
Peoells: a river in Thcs&aly, which rises in Mount Pindus, and flows through 
the wooded valley of Tempe. Daedal: variously adorned, variegated. Midas 
was king of Phrygia, sec § 104. 

Illustrative. — The story of King Midas has been told by others with 
some variations. Dryden, in the Wife of Bath's Tale, makes Midas' queen 
the betrayer of the secret. 

"This Midas knew, and durst communicate 
To none but to his wife his ears of &tate." 



§ 83 a. Marsyas also was unfortunate enough to underrate Apollo's musi- 
cal ability. It seems that the flute, an invention of Miner^*a'«, had been thrown 
away by that goddess because Cupid laughed at the grimaces which she made 
while playing it. Marsyas found the instrument, blew upon it, and elicited such 
ravishing sounds that he was tempted to challenge Apollo himself to a musical 
contest. The god, of course, triumphed, and punished Marsyas by flaying him 
alive. 

Illustrative. — M. Arnuld, Empedocles (Song of CalUctes); L- Morris, 
Marsyas, in the Epic of Hades; Edith M. Thomas, Marsyas. 

In Art. — Raphael's drawing, Apollo and Marsyas (Museum, Venice); 
the Gncco- Roman sculpture, Marsyas (Louvre) ; Marsyas (or Dancing Faun), 
in the Lateran, Rome. 

§ 85. Textual. — Daphne was a sister of Cyrenc. another sweetheart of 
Apollo's (§ 130). Delphi, in Phocis, and TeDedoB^ an island off the coast of 
Asia Minor, near Troy, were celebrated for their temples of ApoUo. The latter 
temple was sacred to ApoIlo Smiotheus, the Mousc-Apollo, probably because 
he had rkl that country of mice as St. Patrick rid Ireland of snakes and toads. 
Dido, queen of Carthage (jj 174)1 whose lover, ^-Encas, sailed away from her. 

Interpretative. — Max Mailer's explanation is poetic though not philologi- 
cally probable. '* Daphne, or Ahani, means the Dawn. There is first the 



CLASSIC MYTHS m ENGUSH fJTEHATVRE. 

appearance uf the dawn in the eastern sky, then the rising of the sun as tf 
hurrying after his bride, then the gradual fading away of the bright dawn at 
the touch of the fiery rays of the sun, and at lost her death or disappearance 
in the Up of bet mulher, the earth." 'l*he wurU Daphne also means, in ( Jreck. 
a laurel; hence the legend that Daphne was changed into a laurel-tree (?k;t. 
R^l'K- 3781 379)' Other* construe Daphne as the lightning. It is, however, 
very probable that the Greeks of the m)'th-inaking age, finding certain plants 
and flowers sacred to Apollo, would invent stones to explain why he preferred 
the laurel, the hyacinth, the sunflower, etc. " Such myths of metamorphoses " 
are, as Mr. Lang says, "an universal growth of savage fancy, and spring from 
a want of a sense of difference l>etween men and things" (Myth, Ritual, etc., 
2:206). 

Hiustrative. — Shakespeare, M. N. Dream 2: z; Taming of Shrew (In- 
duction 2) ; Troil. and Cressida 1:1; Milton, Comus 59. 662; Ode on Nativity 
176-180; Vacation 33-40; P. L. 4 : 26&-275;'P. R. 2: 187: Lord dc Tablcy 
(VVm. Lancaster), Daphne, "All day long. In devious fnrcst, Orove, and foun- 
tain side, The god had sought his Daphne," etc.; I^yly. King Mydas; Apollo's 
Song to Daphne; Frederick Tennyson, Daphne. Waller applies this story to 
the case of one whose amatory verses, though they did not soften the heart of 
his mistress, yet won for the poet wide-spread fame. 

" Yet what be sung in his immortal strain. 
Though unsuccessful, was not sunK in vain. 
All but the nymph that should redress his wrong, 
Attend his passion and approve his song. 
Like Phoebus thus, acquiring unsought prabe, 
He caught at love and filled his arms with bays." 




In Art. — Sculpture: Bernini's Apollo and Daphne. Painting: G. F. 
Watts' Daphne. 

§ 86. Illustrative. — Hood, Flowers, " 1 will not have the mad Clylie. 
Whose head is turned by the sun," etc.; W, W. Story, Oytie; Mrs. A. KicMs, 
Clytia. The so-called bust of Oytie (discovered nut long ago) is possibly a 
representation of Isis. 

§ SS. TextiuiL — Elifl: northwestern part of the Peloponnesus. Al- 
pheiis : a river of Elis flowing to the MerJiterranean. The river AlpheOs does 
in fact disappear under ground, in part of its course, finding its M-ay through 
subterranean channels, till it again appears on the surface. It was said that 
the Sicilian fountain Arethiisa was the same stream, which, after passing under 
the sea. came up again in Sicily. Hence the story ran that a cup thrown 
into the AlphrUs appeared again in .Arethuso. It is, possibly, this fable of the 
underground course of AlpheSs that Coleridge -has in mind in his dream of 
Kubla Khan: — 




COMMENTAR K 449 

In Xanadu did Kubla Khan 

A stately pleasure-dome decree, 
Where Alph, the sacred river, ran 
Through cavcmi measureless to man, 

Down lo a sunless sea." 

Tn one of Moore's juvenile poems he alluHes to the practice of thro\('ing 
garlands or other light ubjccls on the stream of Alphcfls, to be carried down- 
ward by it, an<] afterward repra<luccd at its emerging, "as an offering To lay 
at Arethusa's feet." 

The Acroceraunian Mountains arc in K[)irus in the northern part of Greece. 
It is hardly necessary to puint uut that a tivcr Arcthusa arising there, could not 
possibly be approached by an Alphelis of the Peloponnesus. Such a criticism 
of Shelley's sparkling verses, would, however, be pedantic rather than just- 
Probably Shelley uses the word Acroceraunian as synonymous with r/cr/, dan- 
i^erout. If so, he had the practice of Ovid behind him {Renmiium Amoris 739}. 
Mount Erymantbua : between Arcadia and Achaia. The Dorian deep : the 
Peloponnesus was inhabited by descendants of the fabulous Dorus. Eona: a 
city in the centre of Sicily. Ortygla : an island on which part of the city of 
Syracuse is built. 

Illustrative. — Milton, .\rcade8 30; Lycidaa 132: Margaret J. Prestonp 
The Flight of Arethusa; Keats, Endymion Bk. 2, "On either side outgushed» 
with misty spray, A copious spring." 

§ 89. See genealogical table. E, (§ 61 C) for ActieOD. In this myth Preller 
finds another allegory of the baleful influence of the dog-days upon those 
exposed to the heat. Cox's theory that here we have large masses of cloud 
whicbp having dared to look upon the clear sky, are torn to pieces and scat- 
tered by the winds, is principally instructive as illustrating how far afield 
theorists have gone, and how easy it is to invent ingenious explanations. 

Illustrative. — Shakes|)eare, Merry Wives 2:1; 3:2; Titus .-Xiidrun. 2:3; 
Shelley, Adonais 31, "'Mid others of less note came one frail form." etc. a 
touching allusion to himself; A. H. Clough, Actseon; I.. Morris, Actscon (Epic 
of Hades). 

§ 90. Chios. — An island in the .^^ean. Lemnoa: another island in the 
.<^ean, where V'ulcan had a forge. 

Interpretative. — Tlie ancients were wont to glorify in fable constellations 
of remarkable brilliancy or form. The heavenly adventures of Orion are suH'i- 
ciently explained by the text. 

Illuitrative. — Spenser, F. Q. i, 3: 31; Milton, P. L. 1 : 305, "Natheleis 
he so endured," etc.; I-ongfellow's Occultation of Orion; R. II. Home, 
Orion; Charles Tennyson Turner, Oriun (a sunnct). 

f 91. Electra. — See genealogical table, I, § 133 (5) C. Sec same table 
for tteropCf the mother uf Glaucus and grandmother of Bellerophon (§ 138). 



450 



ciASsrc ArvTUS /jv ej^gush literature 



Illustrative. — Pleiads: Milton, P. I.. 7:374; Popo. Spring ica; M 
KemADS has verses on the same subject; Ityron, " IJke the Mt Pleiad 
no more below." 

In modern Kulpture, The Lost Pleiad of Randolph Kogen is famaitt; 
painting, the I'lciadcs of Klihu Veddcr- 

S 92. Mount Latinos : in Caria. Diana is sometimes called Phsbe. 
shining one. Fur the descendants of Endymionf the .£tolians, ctc^ see tal 

1. 5 132(5) c. 

Interpretative. — According to the simplest explanation of the Endj 
myth, the hero is the setting son on whom the upward rising moon dcJigl 
10 gaze, ilis fifty children by Selene would then be the hfiy months of 
Olympiad, or Greek period of four years. Some, however, consider him to 
a person itication of sleep, the king whose influence comes over one in the 
caves of Latnio^, "the Mount of Oblivion"; others, the growth of rqjet 
tion under the dewy moonlight; still otbcrs, euhemeristically, a young hunt( 
who under the moonlight followed the chase, but 111 the daytime slept. 

niustrative. — Th e Endymion of Keats contain5^exc|uisitc poetry . KJelcbi 
in the Kaithfui Shepherdess, lells . " Ho w the ijjIc I'lurbc. h unting in 
grove, KifA t saw the hoy Knilvn>iun> " etc. Young's Night Thoughts, 
Cynthia, poets feign, In shadows veiled, . . . Her shepherd cheered." Si 
ser, hpithalamion, "The Latmian Shepherd," etc.; Marvel, Songs ou 
Fauconberg and the Lady Mary Cromwell (chorus, Endymiou and Laura)] 
O. W. Holmes, Metrical Kssays, " And, Night's chaste emprctt, in her bri< 
play. Laughed through the foliage where Endymion lay." 

Poems. — Beside Keats' the most important are by Lowell, Longfcllo 
Clough (,Epi Latino and Selene), T. B. Read, ISuchnnan, L. Morris (Epic 
Hades). John Lyly's prose drama, Kndymi on, contains quaint and drlicj 
songs. 

In Art. — Ancient: Diana and the sleeping EndvinioD, sculpture (Vaticsa] 

In Painting. — Carracci, fresco, Diana embracing Endymion (Famese 
ace, Rome); Gueruino's Sleeping Endymion; G. F. Watts' Endymion. 

$ 93. Textual. —Paphos and Amathus : towns in Cyprus, of which 
former contained a temple to Venus, Cnidos (Cnidus or Gnidus) : * 
in Caria. where stood a famous statue of Venus, attributed to Pra«ite1( 
C3^erea: Venus, an adjective dcriveil from her island Cythcra in the .-tgei 
Sea. Acheron, and Persephone or Proserpine: see §§ 48, 50. The wim 
flower of the Greeks was of bloody hue, like that of the pomegranate. It 
said the wind blows tlie blossoms open, and afterwards scatters the petals. 

Interpretative. — Among the P hrcnicu ns Venus is known as .Attorte* 
among the Assyrian s as Jslar. The Adonia of thiii story is the Phceniciaa 
/fdijw, or the Hebrew Aiionai, "Lord." The myth derives its origin froi 





COMMEi^TAR K 451 

the Babylonian worship of Thmminiu or Adon, who represents the verd* 
ure of 5prin>r, and whom his mistress, the gnddcu of fcrlility, seeks, af^er his 
death, in the lower regions. With their departure all birth and fruitage 
cease on the earth; but when he has been revived by sprinkling of water, and 
restored to bis mistress and to earth, all nature again rejuiccs. The myth is 
akin to those of Linus, llyacinthus, and Narcissus. Mannbardt (VVald- und 
Feld-kulte 274), cited by Roscher, supplies the following characteristics com* 
mun to such rcligiuus rites in various lands: (1) The spring is personi6ed as 
a beautiful yuuth who is represented by an image surruunded by quickly 
fading flowers from tlic " garden uf Adonis." (2) He comes in the early year 
and is l>clovcd by a goddess of vegetation, goddess sometimes of the moon, 
sometimes of the star of Love. (3) In midsummer he dies, and during autumn 
and winter inhabits the undcrw-urld. (4) His burial is attended witli lameu* 
tations, his resurrection with festivals. (5) These events take place in mid- 
summer and in spring. (6^ The image and the Adonis plants are thrown 
into water. (7) S hoin marriages arc celebrated between pairs of worshippers . 
lUustrative. — The beautiful 15th Idyl of Theocritus contains a typical 
Psalm of Adonis, sung at Alexandria, fur his resurrection. Shakespeare's 
Venus and Adonis; Taming uf Shrew, Induction 2\ I Hen. VL 1:6. In Mil- 
ton, Comus 998 : — 

" Beds of hyacinth and roses, 

Where young Adonis oft reposes, 

Waxing well of hia deep wound 

In sluni^jcr soft, iinrl un the ground 

Sadty sits th' Assyrian queen." 

Drummond, The Statue of Adonis; Pope, Summer 61; Wi.itcr 24; Miscel. 
7: 10; M^ral Essays 3: 73; Dunciad 5: 202. Sec C. S, Calvcrley's Death of 
Adonis (Theocritus); L, Morris' Adonis (Epic of Hades). 

In Art. — T he Dying Adonis, sculpture, M. Angclo; the Adonis of T^ur- 
waldsen in the Glyptothek, Munich. 

§94. Textual. — P syche dues nut eat anvihini'- in Hade s, because, by 
accepting the huspila]ity uf I'fu&grpin.n^ .s j"- ■a.hi H 1^^ ,'^,-^ )^ an inmate of her 
househo ld. llie scene with the lamp and knife probably indicates the 
infringement of some ancient matrimonial custom. Erebus: the land of 
darkness. Hades. For Zeph3rr, Acheron, Cerberus^ Charon, etc, sec fnJex. 

Interpretative. — Tlu- fable of Cupid and Psyche is usually regarded as 
allegorical. Th e Orcck name fur a hulterfly js Psyclic. a nd the aame word mcatis 
the jp/</. There is no illustration of the immortality of the soul so striking and 
beautiful as that of the butterfly, bursting on brilliant wings from the tomb 
in which it has lain, a fter a dull . ^ruvcM^g. c aterpillar existence, to flutter Jn 
the blaze of day and feed on the must fra i 'r.'in t and delicate productions o( 





CLASSIC AfYTNS IN ENCUSH LITERATURE. 

the spring. Paychr, then, is the human soul, which is purihrd bv ^offeringf 
and misfurtunes, and ts thus prepared fur the enjoyment of true and pare 
happiness. It is probable that the stor>- allcKorizcs a philosophical cunception 
concerning Mr« stages of the soul's life : first, a former existence of bli»; 
second, an eailhly existence of trial; third, a heavenly future of fniitioo. Coi, 
by his usual method, finds here a myth of the search for the Sun (Eros) 
by the Dawn (Psyche). Many of the incidents of the story will be found in 
modem fairy tales and romances, such zs Beauty and the Beast, Criiiui)*» 
Twelve Brothers; the Gaelic stories; The Three Daughters of King O'llan: 
Fair, Brown, and Trembling; The Daughter of the Skies; and the Norse tale 
— East of the i?un and West of the Moon. (See G>x i : 403-41 1. ) 

IlluatratiTe. — Thomas Moore, Cupid and Psyche; Mrs. Browning, Psyche. 
Paraphrase on Apulcius; L. Morris in the Epic of Hades; Krcdcrick Ten- 
nyson, Psyche. Most important is \V. H. I*ater'i Marius the Epicurean, which 
contains the story as given by Apuleiiu. 

In Art. — Psyche is represented as a maiden with the wings of a bntterfly, 
in the different situations described in the allegory, llie Grseco-Roman sculp- 
ture of Cupid and Psyche, in the Caj)itol at Rome, is of surpassing beauty: 
so also is Canova'a Cupid and Psyche. 

Among Paintings. — Raphael's firescos in the Famesina Villa, twelve ifl 
number, illustrating the story; Fran^nis Gerard's Cupid and Psyche; Paul 
Tbumann's nine illustrations of the story; R. Beyschlag's Psyche with the 
Urn, Psyche Grieving, and I*8yche and Pan; \V. Kray's Psyche and Zephyr; 
Psyche, by A. de Curzon; by G. F. Watts; a scries of three illustrations by 
II. Bates- The Charon and Psyche of £. Neide is a sentimental, simperiflg 
conception. A. Zick has also a Psyche. 

$ 95. According to another tradition, Atalanta'fl love was Milanioa. The 
nuptial vow was ratilied by Hera (juno). This, the Boeotian, Atalanta ts 
Sometimes idcntitied with the Arcadian Atalanta of the Calydonian Hunt. 
See § I48 and Tabic D, § 59 C. It is better to discriminate between them. 
The genealogy of this Atalanta will be seen in the following table, and in § 132 
(5) C. 

Illastrative. — W. Morris, Atalanta's Race (Earthly Paradise); Moore's 
Rhymes on the Road, on Alpine Scenery, — an allusion to Hippomenes. 

In Art. — Painting bv E. J. Poyntcr, Atalanta's Race. 

% 96. Textual and Illustrative. — The story of Hero and Leaoder is the 
subject of a romantic poem by Musa-us, a grammarian uf Alcxaudria, who lived 
in the fifth centur)- A.u. This author, in disliucttun from the mythical poet uf the 
same name, is styled the Pseudo-Musa;us. The * epylliun ' has been trauttatcd 
by Sir Rul>ert Stapylton, Sir E<lwin Arnold, and others. The feat of swimming 
the Hellespont was performed by Lord Byrun. The distance in the narruwest 



4 



4 




^ 



COMMENTAR Y. 



453 





fttory sec Bride of Abydos, Canto U. For Byron's statement concerning the 
breadth of the water see foutnute to same Cantu. 

Poems. — Hero and Leander by Leigh Hunt; by Tom Hood; by Motnr; 
sonnet by L). G. Kossetti, Hero's Lamp (House of LifeJ ; a poem not in 
later editions of Tennyson, Hero to Leander, 1830. 

Id Paiating. — G. von Ilodenhausen; F. Keller. 

$ 97. Interpretative. — Another illustration of the vivifying inflaence of 
love. Preller deems Pyginaliun's story nearly akin to ibe Adonis^mjtb. He 
regards the festiv'al of Venus, during which the statue of Galatea (or passive 
love) receives life, as the usual Adonis-festi^'al. 

Illustrative. — Thuni&un's Castle of Indolence 3: 12; R. Buchanan, Pyg- 
malion the Sculptor; Morris, and Gilbert, as in text; Pygmalion, by T- !, Bed- 
does; by W. C Bennett. TTic seventeenth century satirist, Marston, wrote a 
Pygmalion, of no great worth. Frederick Tennyson, Pygmalion (in the Oaphoe 
and Other Poems); Arthur Henry Hallam, Lines spoken in the character 
I^gmalion; Thomas Woolncr, Pygmalion. 

In Art. — The Pygmalion series of four scenes, by E. Burne-Jon«s. 

§98. TextuaL — Semiramis: wife of King Ninus, and queen of Ass] 
Famous for her administrative and military ability. A mythical character' 
with features of historic probability. 

lUuatrative. — Chaucer, Thisljc. the Martyr of Babylon (I^g. G. W 
Allusions In Surrey's Of the Death of Sir Thomas Wyati; Shakespeare. 
N. Dream 3:2; 5:1; M. of Venice 5 : I. Moore, in the Sylph*s Ball, draws 
a comparison between Thisbe's wall and the gauze of Davy's safety lamp 
Mickle's translation of the Lusiad (Island of Love). 

In Art. — Burne-Jones* three paintings, Cupid, Pyramus, and lliisbe; £ 
l^upion's painting, Thisbe. 

$ 99. Textnal. — Leslws and Chios : islands in the .^ean. Fur Sappl 
see S II (3) 

Illustrative. — The second lyric of Sappho, beginning " IJkc lo the gc 
be seems to mc. The man that sits, reclined by thee," has been translated 
Phillips, by Fawkes, and by recent poets. The reference is probably to Pbaon. 
Allusions in Pope, Moral Essays 3: I3i; 3: 24; Prol. to Satires J09, 101; 
Byron's Isles of Greece, already referred to. Compare the translation 
Catullus, LL 

Poems on Sappho or on Phaon. Charles Kingsley, Sappho; Buchanan. 
Sappho on the Lcucadian Rock; Landor. — Sappho, Alcxus, Anacreon, and 
Phaon; Frederick Tennyson, Klels or the Return (in the Isles uf Greece). 
See also Lyly's amusing prose drama, Sappho and Phao. 




COMMENTARY. 



455 



§101. Tcxtnal. — Mount Cyllene: between Arcadia and Achaea. Pierian 
Mountains: in Macedonia, directly north of Thessaly; the birthplace of the 
Muses. Pylos: an ancient city of Elia. 

Interpretative. — On the supposition that the herds of Apollo are the 
bright rays of the sun, a p1an.sib]e physical explanation of the relations of 
Mercury (Hermes) to Apollo is the following from Max Miiller. *' Hermes is 
the god of the twilight, who betrays his equivocal nature by stealing, though 
only in fun, the herds of Apollo, but restoring them without the violent com- 
bat that (in the analogous Indian story) is waged for the herds between Indra, 
the bright god, and Vala. the robber. In India the dawn brings the light; in 
Greece the twilighl itself is supposed to have stolen it, or to hold back the 
light, and Hermes, the twilight, surrenders the booty when challenged by the 
sun-god Apollo" (LecL on Lang., 2 Ser., 521-3). Hermes is connected by 
Professor Miiller with the Vedic god Saramcya, son of the twilight. Mercury, 
or Hermes, as inurning ur as evening Iwilightt loves the Dew, is herald of the 
gods, is spy of the nighl, is sen<lcr of sleep and dreams, is accompanied by 
the cock, herald of dawn, is the guide of the departed on their last journey. 
To the conception of twilight. Cox adds that of motion, and explains Hermes 
as the air in motion that springs up with the dawn, gains rapidly in force, 
sweeps before it the cloudt (here the cattle of Apollo), makes soft music 
through the trees (lyre), etc. Other theorists make Hermes the Div-ine 
Activity, the god of the ether, of clouds, of storm, etc. Though the expla- 
nations of I'rofessor Muller and the Rev. Sir G. \V. Cox arc more satisfac- 
tory here than usual, Koscher's the sivifl v/tni/ is scientifically preferable. 

Illustrative. — See Shelley's Homeric Hymn to Mercury, on which the 
tCAt of g 101 is based, and passages in Prometheus Bound; Keats' Ode to 
Mala. 

§§ 102, 103. Textual. — Sec genealogical table E. $ 61 C, for Bacchus, 
Penthcus, etc. Nysa "has been identified as a mountain in Thrace, in Bceolia, 
in Arabia, India, Libya; and Naxos, as a tuwn in Caria or the Caucasus, and 
as an island in the Nile." Thebes: the capital of Boeotia. Mseonia; Lydia, 
in Asia Minor. Dia: Naxos, the largest of the Cyclades Islands in the 
/ligean. Mount Cithsron : in Boeotia. The Thyrsus was a wand, wreathed 
with ivy and surmounted by a pine cone, carried by Bacchus and bis votaries. 
Maenads and Bacchantes were female followers of Bacchus. BacchAnal is 
a general term fur his devotees. 

Interpretative. — '* Bacchus ( Dionysus) is regarded by many as the spirit- 
ualform of the new vernal life, the sap and pulse of vegetation and of the 
new-born year, especially as manifest in the vine and juice of the grape." — 
Lang, Myth^ Ritual, etc., 2: 221 (from Preller 1 : 544). The Hyades (rain- 
stars), that nurtured the deity, perhaps sytnboliice the rains that nourish sprout- 






CLASSIC MYTHS /AT SXG/JS// LrTBRATUffE, 

ittg vegetation. He bcume identified very toon with the spiritt»m\ ^tA of 

the vine. His sufferings may typify the " ruin uf the summer year st tbc budi 
of storm and vrinter," or perhaps, the agony of the bleeding grapes in tbe 
wine-press. The orgies of Dionysus are probably a survival mf the oo* 
gnvemed actions of savages when celebrating a festival in honor of tbe deity 
of plenty, of harvest-hotne, and uf intoxication. But in cultivated Greeccv 
Dionysus, in spite of the sur\'iving orgiastic ceremonies, is a poetic 
nation nf blithe, changeable, spirited youth. (Sec Lang, Myth, Ritual, etc, X: 
221-241.) That Rhea taught him wouLl account for the Oriental nature of 
his rites; fur Rhea is an EJi&tern deity by origin. The opposition ofPeatheU 
and others would indicate the reluctance with which the Greeks adopted his 
somewhat doubtful doctrine and his evidently undignified ccremuDial. Ac- 
cording to O. MfiUcr, the Diuny&iac worship came from Thrace, a proverbiaD; 
barbarous clime; — but wandering, like tbe spring-tide, over the face uf the 
earth, Bacchus cunqucred each nation in turn. 

The influence of intoxication is s>*mbolized by the traosforination of the 
sailors into strange animals. 

Of the Festivals of Dionyaiu, the more important in Attica were Che 
Lesser Dionysia, in December; the Lenn^a, in January; the Anthesteria, cf 
spring-festival, in February; and the Great Dionwia, in March. These all, ia 
greater or less degree, witnessed of the culture and tlte glories of the vine. 
Ihcy were celebrated, as the case might be, with processions of women, pro- 
fusion of flowers, orgiastic songs and dances, or dramatic representations. 

Illustrative. — Bacchus : Milton, Comus 46. Peotheus: I^ndor, The 
I^t Fruit of an Old Tree; IL 11. MiUnan. The Bacchanal* of Eoripidesi 
Calverley's and tjwig's translations of Theocritus, Idyl 26; Thomas Lo«e 
Peacock, Rhododaphne: The Vengeance of Bacchus; B. W. Procter, Baccfaa- 
natiaii Song. Naxofl : P. L. 4 : 275 

§ 104. Textual. — Hespcrides, see Indtx. Hiver Pactolas: in Lydia. 
Midas: the sun uf oneGordios, who from a farmer had become king of Phrygia, 
because he happened to fulfil a prophecy by entering the public square ol 
some city just as the people were casting about for a king. He tied his wagon 
in the temple uf the prophetic deity with the celebrated Gordian Knot, which 
none but the future lord of Asia might undo. Alcxamlcr the Great undid the 
knot with his swurd. 

Interpretative. — .\n ingenious, but not highly probable, theory explains 
the golden touch of Midas as the rising sun that gilds all things, and his 
bathing in Paclolus as the quenching of the sun's splendor in the western 
ocean. Hidaa is fabled to have been the son of the "great mother *' Cybele, 
whose worship in Phrjgra was closely related to that of Bacchus or Dionysus. 
The Sileni were there regarded as tutelary ^vw/i of the rivers and springs 




COMMENTARY. 



457 



promoting fertility of the soD. Uarayas, an inspired musician in the service 
of Cybclc, wu naturally a&sucialcd in fable with Midas. The ass being the 
favorite animal of Silcnua, the ass's ears of MiOas merely symbolize his fond- 
ness for and devotiun to such habits as were attributed to the Sileni. The 
aas, by the way, was reverenced in Phrygia; the acquisition of ass's ears may, 
therefore, have been originally a glory, not a disgrace. 

Illustrative. — John Lyiy, Play of Mydas, especially the song. "Sing 
to ApuUo, god of day"; Shakespeare, M. of Venice 3:2 (casket scene); 
Pope, Dunciad 3: 324; Prol. to Satires 82; Swift, The I'ablc of Midas; J. G. 
Saxe, The Choice of King Midas (a travesty). Gordian Knot: Hen. V. 
1:1; Cymb«l. 2:2; Milton, P. L. 4: 348; Vacation 90. Pactolua : Pope, 
Spring 6i ; allusions also to the sisters of Phaeton. SUenus, by VV. S. Landor. 

§§ 105, 106. Textual. — Mount Eryx^ the vale ofEona, and Cyace are 
in Sicily. Eleusis: in Attica. For Arethtisa, see Index. 

Interpretative. — There can be little doubt that the story of Ceres and 
Proserpine is an allegory. Proserpine signtl:es the seed-corn which, when 
cast into the ground, lies there conceale<i, — is carried off by the god of the 
underworld; when the corn reappears, Proserpine is restored to her mother. 
Spring leads her back to the light of day. The following, from Aubrey 
de Verc's Introtiuction to his Search for Proserpine, b suggestive: "Of all 
the beautiful tictiona of Greek Mythology, there are few more exquisite than 
the story of Proserpine, and none deeper in symbolical meaning. Consider- 
ing the fable with reference to the physical world, Bacon says, in his Wisdom 
of the Ancients, that by the Rape of Proserpine is signified the disappearance 
of flowers at the end of the year, when the vital juices are, as it were, drawn 
down to the central darkness, and held there in bondage. Following up this 
view of the subject, the Search of her Mnther, sad and unavailing as it was, 
would seem no unfit emblem of .Autumn and the restless melancholy of the 
season; while the hope with which the Goddess was linally cheered may 
perhaps remind us of that unexpected return of fine weather which occurs so 
frequently, like an omen of Spring, just before Winter closes in. The fnhle 
has, however, its moral significance also, being connected with that great 
mystery of Joy and Grief, of Life and Death, which pressed so heavily on the 
mind of Pagan Greece, and imparts to the whole of her mythology a profound 
interest, spiritual as well as philusophicat. It was the restoration of Man, not 
of flowers, the victor)- over Death, not over Winter, with which that high 
Intelligence felt itself to be really concerned." Festivals: two kinds of 
festivals, the Eleusloia and the Theamophoriaf were held in honor of Ceres 
and Proserpine. The former was divided into the lesser, celebrated in Feb- 
ruary, and the greater (lasting nine days), in September. Distinction must 
be made between the Festivals and the Mysteries of Eleusis. In the festivals 




CLASSIC MYTHS IN ENGLISH UTERATVRE, 



all classes might participate. Those of the Spring represented the resX^ 
ration of Pruscrpinc lu her muthcr; those of the Autumn the rape of Pxusex- 
piae. An image of the youthfut Bacchus headed the procession in its march 
toward Elcusis. At tliat place and in the neighborhood were enacted in realistic 
fashion the wandcrin){s and the sultcrings of Ceres, the scenes in the boose uf 
Cctrus, and finally the successful conclusion of the search for Proserpine. The 
Mysteries of Eleusis were witnessed only by the initiated, and were invested 
M'ith a veil uf secrecy which has never lieen fully withdrawn. The initiates 
passed through certain symlnilic ceremonies from one degree of mrstic 
enlightenment to another till the highest was attained. The Lesser Mystertrs 
were an introduction to the Greater; and it is known that the rites innshed 
partook of the nature of purification from passion, crime, and the variuos 
degradations of human existence. Hy ptous contemplation of the dramatic 
scenes presenting the sorrows of Ceres, and by participation iu sacramrnlAl 
riles, it is probable that the initiated were instructed in the nature of life and 
death, and consoled with the hope of immortality (rrellcr). (On the develop- 
ment of the Elcusinian Mysteries from the savage t» the civilized ceremonial, 
sec Lang, Myth, Ritual, etc., 2: 275, and Lobcck's Agiaopkamus 133.) 

The Thesmopboria were celebrated by married women, in honor of 
Ceres (Dcmcter), and referred to institutions of married life. 

That Proserpine should be under bonds to the underworld because abe had 
partoken of food in Mades accords with ft superstition not peculiar to the 
Greeks, but to be "fuunil in New Zealand, Melanesia, -Scotland, Hnlaiid, and 
among the Ojibbcways " (I^ng, Myth, Ritual, etc., 2: 273). 

Illustrative. — Aubrey de Vere, as above; B. W. Procter, The Rape of 
Proserpine; R. 11- Stoddard, The Search for Persephone; O. Meredith, The 
Appeasement of Dcmeler; Tennyson, Deroetcr and Persephone; Dora Green- 
well. Demetcr and Cora; T. L. Itcddors, Song of the Stygian Naiades: A. C, 
Swinburne, Sting to Proserpine. Sec also notes under Persephone, $ 50, 
Demetcr and Pluto. Eleusis: Schiller's Festival of, transl. by N. L™ Frolh- 
ingham ; At Llcusis, by Swinburne. See, for poetical reference. Milton, P. L, 
4 : 369, " Not that fair Field Of Enna," etc; Mood, Ode to Melancholy; — 
" Forgive if some^*hiIe I foi^ct, 

In woe to come the present bliss; 
As frighted Proserpine let Cill 
Her flowers at the sight of Dis." 

In Art. — Bernini's Plutu and Proserpine (sculpture); P. Schobelt's Rape 
of Proserpine (picture). Eleusinian relief: Demeter. Cora, Triptolemus 
(Athens). 

§ 107. Textual. — Taenarus: in Laconia. For the crime of Taotalui, 
see § 77, In Hades he sto£>iLuP tn his neck in water which receded when he 




COMMENTARY, 



would drink; grapgs hanging above hia head withdrew wht n he would ^Oac V 
ihem; w hile a great rock was forever last aby nt ^y ((pH n pop hitg, Ixion, for 
an insult to Junn, was lashed with serpents or brazen bands to an ever-revolv- 
ing wheel. SisyphUB, for his treachery to the gods, vainly rolled a stone 
toward the top of a hill. (See § 175.) For the Dan&lds, sec § 133. Orbe- 
nia, §§ 48, 175. The Dynast's bond: the contract with Pluto, who was 
Dyuast or tyrant of Hades. Feny-guard : Charon. Strymon and Hebnis: 
rivers of Thrace. Llbethra : a city on the side of Mount Olympus, between 
Thcssaly and Macedonia. 

Interpretative. — Th e loss of Eurydice may signify (like the death o f 
Adonis and the rape of Fro»tTj>in e) t he «lcparlurK of spririy . Max MQller, 
however, identifies Orr>htui_ with the Sanskrit A rbht i, u»ed as a name for the 
Sun (Chips 2: 127). Acc ording to this explanation tht: Sun follows i-!ur>-dice^ 
'• th ^wide-spreading flush of tiie dawn who has been stung hv the serpent of 
night." i niu ihc rt.-t:ion5 of darkness . There he recovers Eurydice, but while he 



looks back upon her she tadea before his gaze, as the mists of n^( , >rniny vap ||h 
b efore the glory of the rising sun CC oxV It might be more consistent to con- 
strue Eurydice as the twiti^kt^ first, oF evening which is slain by night, then, of 
morning which is dissipated by sunrise. Cox finds in the music of Orpheus 
th e delicious strains of the bree/es which accompany sunrise and sun set. The 
story s huuld be- comi'ared with that of Apollo and Daphne, a nd of Mercury 
a nd Apollo . The Irish tale, The Three Daughter* of King O'Hara, reverses 
the relation of Orpheus and I^urydice. (See C?urlin's Myths and Folk-lore of 
Ireland, Boston: 1S90.) 

Ulnstrative. — Orpheus : Shakespeare. T wo Gen, of Veron a %\ 2; M, of 
Venice 5:1; He n. VIll. 3 ! I (song); Milton, Lycidaa 58; L'All. 145; II 
Pens. 105; Pope, Ode on St. Cecilia's Day (Eurydice); Summer 81 ; Soulhcy's 
Thalaba (The Nightingale's sont; over the prave of Orpheu s). 

Poems. — Wordsworth, Tli e Power of Music ; Shelley , Orpheus, a frajpnei ^t; 
Browning, l-' urvilirc- and t^rphcu s: Wm. Nforns. r)rphi-iis and tht- Sir <rL<i (Life 
and Death of Jason); L. Morris . Orpheus, Eumlioe^ Kpic of Hades^ ; Lowell. 
Kurvdice; R. DowdcPj Eury djcc ; W. B. S cottj Kuryd ice; K. \V. Gosse, The' 
Wakin g of L'urvdic e: R. Buchanan, Orphe us, the Musicia n; J, G. Soxe, 
Travp^fy nf Orp^j.,Mi» An^ V.nrvAUv^. On Tantslus and Sisypbos, See Spen- 
ser, F, Q. r, 5: 31-35; L. Morris, Epic of Hades. 

In Art. — A Relief in the National Museum, Naples, of Mercury. Orpheu s, 
and Eurydtc e. Paintings: by Sir Frederick Leighton: by Robert Bey- 
schlag; by G. F. Watts; Th e •''tory "f Orpheus, a series of ten pttu^tin gs, Ff 
by E. Rurnc-Joncs. 

§108. Interpretative. — The monsters that wreak the vengeance of 
Neptune are, of cuurse, his destructive storms and lashing waves. 




460 



CLASSIC MYTHS iN hNCUSH UTEKATURE. 




§ 109. Textual. — Troy: the CApitAl of Troas in Ajx* Minor, utii«tt4 
between the rivers Scamander and Simots. Famous for the siege cotidoctM 
by the Greeks under Agamemrion, McncUils, etc. (See Chap. XXV.) AlDj^ 
mone : a fountain of Argolis. Enipens : a river of Macedoota. 

% 110. For gencal<^y of Pelops, etc., see §§ 77 C »nd 165 (a) C. For the 
misfortunes of the Pelopida:, sec §§ 165 b^ 170. 

In Art. — Pelops and Hippodamta; vase pictures (Monnments laMits, 
Rome and Paris). East pediment, Temple of Zeus, Olympja. 

% 112. Textual. — CephalQS, the son of Mcr..ufy (Hermes) and Herse, 
is irretrievably confounded with Ccphaiu»i the son of Detoo ani.1 grandson vif 
<^Ius. The former should, strictly, be regarded as the lover of Aurora (Eoa) 
the latter is the husband of Procris, and the great>grand father of Ulysses. See 
Gencal. Table I.. § 132 (5) C, and § 165 U) C. 

Interpretative. — Procris is the dew-drop (from Greek /Vwj, dew) which, 
reflects the shining rays of the sun. The " head of the day," or the rising snn* 
Cephalus. is also wooed by Aurora, the Dawn, but flies from her. The Sua 
slays the dew with the same gleaming darts that the dew reflects, or gives back 
to him. According to Preller, Cephalus is the morning-star beloved alike by 
Procris, Ihe moon, ami l)y Auri)ra, the dawn. The concealment of Procris ia 
the forest and her death would, then, signify the paling of the moon before 
the apprnaching day. Hardly so probable as the former explanation. 

niustrative. — Aurora : Spenser, F- Q. i, 2:7; 1, 4:16; Shakespear*'^ 
M. N. Urcam 3:2; Rom. and Jul. 1 ; i ; Milton, P. I- 5 : 6, *• Now Mum. her 
rosy steps in the eastern clime Advancing," etc.; 1/All. 19; Landor, Gebixi 
" Now to Aurora borne by dappled steeds. The sacred gates of ortcot pcad 
and gold . . . Expanded slow/' etc. Cephalus and Procris: in Muore'i 
Legendary Ballads; Shakespeare, M.N. Dream, " Shafalus and Procrus"; A 
Uobson, The Death of Procris. 

In Art. — Aurora: paintings, by Guido Reni, J. L. llamon, GuerciniK 
Procris and Cephalus, by Turner. L'Aurorc et Ccphalc, painted by P. 
Guerin iSio, engraved by K. Forster iSai. 

§ tij Textual. — Cimmerian country : a fabulous land In the far west, 
near Hades; or, perhaps, in the north, for the people dwell by the ocean that 
never visited by sunlight (Od. tl : 14-19}. (.Jther st^ns of Somnua are IcelnSi 
who personates birds, beasts, and serpents, and Phantasus, who assumes lh< 
forms of rocks, streams, and other inanimate things. 

The following table will indicate the connections and descendants oi 
Aurora. 

Interpretative. ~ According to one account, Ce)rx and Halcyooei bj 
likening Ihcir wedded happiness to that of Jupiter and Juno, incurred th 
displeasure of the gods. Thc^myth springs from obser vation of the habits oj 





COMMENTARY. 



th e Halcyon-bird, which nests on the strand 
a nd is frequently i)€reft of its voung hy J he 
w inter wave s. The comparison \sith the glory 
of Jupiter and Jimo is suggested by the splen* 
did iris hues of the birds, Ilalcvon daivs have 
beco me proverbial as seasons of ca l m , ^olua 
son of Mellen is here identiBed with JSoIns, the 
king of winds. According lo Diodorus, the 
latter is a descendant, in the fifth generation, 
of the former, and should lie known as /Kolus 
in. (Sec Genealogical Tahle I,§ 132 (5) C) 

Illustrative. — Chaucer, The Dcth of 
lUaunchc; E. W. Gusse, Alcyone (a sonnet 
in dialogue); K Tennyson, Ilalcyonc; Edith 
M.Thomas, The Kinglisher; Margaret J, Pres- 
ton, Alcyone. Morpheas, see Milton, 11 
Pens.; Pope, Ode on St. Cecilia's I>ay. 

§ 114. Interpretatiye. — Tithonus may 
he the day in its ever-recurring circuit of morn- 
ing freshness, noon heat, fmal withering and 
decay (PrcUer); or the gray glimmer of the 
heavens overspread by ihc first ruddy flush of 
morning (Welckcr); or, as a solar-myth, the 
sun in his setting and waning, — Tithonui 
meaning, by derivation, the illuminator (Max 
Mflller). The sleep of Tithonus in his ocean- 
tied, and his transformation into a grasshopper, 
would then typify the presumable weariness 
and weakness of the sun at night. 

Illustrative. — Spenser, tipithalamion; F. 
y. Ml:5l. 

I 115. Texttifll. -- Hysia : province of 
Asia Minor, s^juth of the Propontis, or Sea of 
Marmora. There is some floubt about the 
identification of the existing statue with that 
flescrihefl by the ancients, and the mysterious 
sounds are still more doubtful. Yet there is 
not wanting modern testimony to their being 
still audible. It has been suggested that 
sounds produced by confined air making its 
esLipe from crevices or caverns in the rocks 



462 



CLASSIC MYTHS IN ENGLISH LITERATURE, 



may bave given some ground for the story. Sir Gardner Wilkinson, a traTvIlc 
of the highest authority, examined the statue itself, and disco^-ered that 
was hollow, and tliat **in the Up of the statue is a stone, whicht on lieinf 
struck, emits % metallic sound that might still be made use of to dcceiTc a' 
visitor who was predisposed to believe it* powers." 

Interpretative. — Memoon is generally represented as of daik featurea^, 
lighted with the animation of glorious youth. He is king of the mythical ^-{iihi' 
opians who lived in the land of gloaming, where cast and west met, and whc 
name signifies " dark splendor.** H» birth in this borderland of light an« 
darkness signifies either his existence as king of an eastern land or his iden- 
tity with the young sun, and strengthens the theor}*, according to which htiJ 
father Tithonus is the gray glimmer of the morning heavens. The flocks 
of birds have been explained as the glowing clouds that meet in battle o?cr 
the body of the dead sun. 

Illustrative. — Milton. II Pens ; Drummond, Summons to I^ve, ** Rooie' 
Memnun's motlter ftum her Tithoii's bed "; Akenside, Pleasures {>f the Imagi- 
nation (analogy between Memnonian music and spiritual appreciation of 
truth) ; Landor, Miscellaneous Poems 59, " Exposed and lonely genius stands, 
Like Memnon in the Egyptian sands," etc. 

§ 1 1 6. Textual. — Doric pillar : the three styles of pillars in Greek archi- 
tecture were Dorian, Ionic, OjriiUhian (sec English Dictionary). XrlnaCliai 
Sicily, from Its three promontorus. Agon and Daphnis: idyllic names of 
Sicilian shepherds. Nals: a water-nymph. For Cyclops, Galatea. Sitenus, 
Fauns, Arethnsa, see Index. Compare, with the conception of Stedman's 
poem, Wordsworth's Power of Music, 

Illustrative. — Ben Jonson, Pan's Anniversary; Milton, P. L. 4:266^ 
707; P. R. 2: J90; Comus 176, 26S; Pope, Autumn 81; Windsor Forest 37,; 
183; Summer 50; Dunciad 3:110; Akenside, Pleasures of Imagination, 
"FairTempe! haunt beloved of sylvan Powers," etc.; On Leaving Holland 
I : 2. Poems : Hetcher, S*jng of the Priest of Pan, and Song of Pkn 
(in The Faithful yhepherdcia) ; Lamlor, Pan and Pitys, *' IVn led me to 
a wood the other day," etc.; Landor, Cupid and Pan; R. Buchanan, Pan; 
Browning, Pan and Luna; Swinburne, Pan andllialassius; Hon. Roden Noel, 
Pan, in the Modern Faust. Of course Mrs. Browning's Dead Pan cannot be 
appreciated unless read as a whole. 

§117. Fauns. — Milton, P. L. 4: 708; 10:573,597; 11:472,788; P. R. 
3:357; Mrs. Browning, Flush or Faunus (sonnet). Dzyada: Pope. Moral 
Essays 4 = 94; Winter 12; Collins, The Passions; Keats, Nightingale, Psyche. 
Satyrs: Milton. Lycidas; Dryden, Mrs. Anne Killigrew 0; Hawtbame*s 
Marble Faun. 

In Art. — Fauna (sculpture): The Barberini Faun (Munich); The 
Drunken Faun, Sleeping Faun, Faun and Bacchus and Dancing Faun 



r 



COMMENTARY. 



4« 



(National Museum, Naples); The Dancing Faun (Lateran. Rome): The Faun 
of Praxiteles (Capitul, Rome). Pan and AlK>llO: Gnccu-Uoman sculpture 
(Museum, Naples); Sitenus and Bacchos (GlypLulhck, Munich). ITymphfl 
(picture): Bougucreau, Nymphs am] Satyr, and Nyuiphs; Burne-juues, 
Nymphs; Glorgione, Nymphs pursued by a Satyr. Sfttyrs: M. Angclo 
(picture) (Nat. Mus. Florence), Mask of a Satyr; RubenH, Satyns (Munich); 
Satyrs (sculpture), relief from theatre nf Diunysus; Satyr playing a flute 
(Vatican). 

% llS. Textual. — Cephissust Tour rivers in Phocis, Attica, and Argnlis 
bear this name. The most famous runs near Athens. 

Illufltrative. — Echo: Chaucer. Romaunt of Rose 1468 ft seq.: Spenser, 
Frothalamiun; Milton, Cumus 237; Collins, The Passiuns. Poems: L. Morris 
^Epic of ilades). Narcissus; Goldsmith, On a Iteautifai Youth, etc; Cowper, 
On an Ugly Fellow; Milton, P. L. 4: 449-470 (illustr.); and Com us. In Art : 
Narcissus (sculpture) (Museum, Naples) , 

§ 120. For references on the Naiads, see §§ 52*54 C. 

§ 122. Dryope (poem), by W. S. Landur. 

$123. Rhcecus. — Poems by Landor, The Hamadryad; Aeon ami 
Rliodupe. 

% 124. PomonA. — Phillips, a poem an Cider. See Index. In Art: the 
painting by J. K. Millais. 

Interpretative. — The various guises and transformations of Vertumnus 
signify the succession of the seasons and the changing characteristicfl of each. 
The name itself implies iurnin^^ or change, 

I 135. Textual. — In order to understand the story of Ibycus, it is neces- 
sary to remember, tirst, that the theatres uf the ancients were immense fabrics, 
capable of containing from ten to thirty thousand spectators, and as they were 
used only un festal occasions, and admission was free to all, they were 
usually filled. They were without roofs and open tu the sky, and the perform- 
ances were in the daytime. Secondly, that the appalling representation of 
the Furies is not exaggerated in the story. It is fabled that .^schylus, the 
tragic poet, having on one occasion represented the Furies in a chorus of fifty 
performers, the terror of the spectators was such that many fainted and were 
thrown into convulsions, and the magistrates forbade a like representation for 
the future. (Pollux IV: 110,) Probably the chorus had only fifteen per> 
formers. 

Illustrative. — § 51 C on Furies. On IbycuA sec translation of Schiller's 
Cianes of Ibycus, by E. A. Bowring. 

§ 126. Textual. — The n<lventures of the water-divinities turn largely on 
the idea of metamorphosis, which would readily be suggested to the imagina* 
tive mind by contempbtion of the ever changing aspect of fountain, stream, 
lake, or ocean. For genealogies of water-dcilics, see $ 54 C 



464 



CLASSIC MVTffS lAT E\'GLISH UTEHATVfiE. 



InterpretatiTe. — The Cyclup, Polyphemus, dues not possess mock 
comiDon with Stcropca, Brontca, and Argcs, tlic offspring of L'ninus xnd 
save his one eye and hU monstruus si^c. The soiu uf Ga^ arc crnpbacu 
pcnuiitticaliuns of thunder and lightning: Polyphemus is rather the hci 
vapu[ that rolls its clouds along the hillside, Tlie cluuils are the &hecp I 
be pastures; Ihc sun gluwmng through the vapor » his single eye (Cc«) 

Illustrative. — John Ciay, iiung of Polyphemc (in Acis and Galatea), K 
Uuljson. ATalcuf rolyphcme; K. Buchanan, rolypherac's Passiun; Shelly 
The Cyclops of Kuripides; Translations of Theocritus hy Mrs. Browning 
l)y Calverlcy: J. S. Ulackic, Galatea; B. W. Procter, Tltc Death of Acis. Si 
also on Cyclops, Shakespeare, Titus Andron. 4:3; Hamlet 2: 2. 

In Art. — Carracci's frescos in the Famese Palace, Rome, of Polyj)hem 
Acis ami (jalatra ; L'laudc IxHrain's painting, Fvening, Acis and Galatea 
Raphael's Triumph of Galatea. 

§ 137. Textual. — Tor descent of Glaucus, see § 95 C and % 133 (5) K 
For Scylla's descent, see § 54 C. See Keats' Endyraion Bk. 3. 

InterpretatiTe. — Glaucus is ex^daiued by some as the calm gleamLog 
by others, as the angry sea that reflects the lowering heavens (sec Rc4ch« 
1690). Scylla is a pcrsomli cation of treacherous currents aud shallows 
jagged cliffs and hidden rocks Csce % 53 C). 

§ 129. For genealogy of Ino, see $ 59 C or § 61 C "Lcucoibea wall 
and with fresh dews embalmed The Earth," Milton, P. L. It : 135, 

% 130. Cyrene wa* sister to Daphne (§ 85). Honey must first have \itA 
known as a wild producl. the bees building their structures in holluw trees, 
holes in Ihc rocks* ur any similar cavity that chance offered- Thus occasiu 
ally the carcass of a dead animal would be occupied by the tKres for that pui 
pose. It was no doubt from some such incident that the superstition aros 
that bees were engendered by the decaying flesh of the animal Vrr| 
assigns to Proteus the isle of Carpathus, between Crete and Rhodes; Ho 
the isle of Pharus, near the river Nile. 

Illustrative.— See § 52 C. Proteus, a poem by R. Buchanan. Q 
Aristsus, Cowper's Task, comparison of the ice-palace of Empress An 
of Russia with Cyrcne's palace. Milton probably thought of CjTcne in descri] 
ing Sabrina (Comus). He calls Proteus "the Carpathian Wizard." 

% 131. Textual. — Acheloust the largest river in Greece, rose in Moul 
Lacmon, flowed between Acarnania and .^.tolia. and emptied into tt 
Ionian Sea. It was honored over all Greece. Calydon: a city of J^^Xt 
famed for the Calydonian Hunt, § 148. Parthenope, see % 171. Llfi 
(IJgeia) : \\\^ skriU-iottnJing maiden ; here a Siren; sometimes a Dryad. 

Interpretative. — Even among the ancients such stories as this wi 
explained on a physical basis: the river AcheloOt flows through the realm 




i ( I I J*«OB 

EvadiM AcBscus Alccatls Admetua (S 145) 



(pRMMibUi) 



(%) Mihn 
ThcByadM 



= (3) Hnpcris 
The Beiperldes 



- (4) Smopc I 



fitJU 
• Pcro 



TabUi 



Mebunpas 
[the Prophtt) 



Aniiphateft Tbatiut 
IKcin - H]r|>cnnQeurm/j 



Adrutu Sriphyle •= AmphUrKds (( t^) 

I ) 

Alcnueon Amphtlochu» 

B Axainui' 




Mercury 



COMMENTAR Y, 



¥ii 



'Dejanira, hence AcheloQs loves Dejanira. When the river winds it is a snake, 
when il ruars it is a buU, when it overflows its hanUs it puts forth new horni. 
(Icrculcs is supposed to have regulated the course of the stream by confmini; 
it within a new and suitable channel. At the same time tlic old channel, 
redeemed from the stream, subjected to cultivation, and blossoming; with 
flowers, might well he called a horn of pienty. There is another account of 
the origin of the Cornucopia. Jupiter at tits birth wu committed by his 
mother Rhea to the care of the daughters of Nfelisseus, a Cretan king. They 
fed the infant deity with the miik of the goat Amalthea. Jupiter, breaking 
off one of the horns of the goat, gave it to his nurses, and endowed il with 
the power of becoming filled with whatever the possessor might wi»h. 

Illustrative. —The name Amalthea is given also to the mother of iSacchus. 
It is thus used by Milton, T. L. Ilk. 4: — 

" That Nyseian isle, 
Girl with the river Tnlon, where old Cham. 
Whom GrniilKS Ammon call, and Libvan Jove, 
liid Anialtlvca and her florid son. 
Young Bacchus, from his stepdame Rhea's eye." 

See lUo Milton, P. R. 2: 356. 

% 132. For the general genealogy of the race of Inachu?., see § 59 C. 
For the general table of the race of lapetus, Deucalion, Hellen, .Eolus, .4Cto- 
lus, etc., sec below, $ 132 (5), Table 1. (based in part on the table given in 
Roscher, article Deukaiion). For the descendants of Agenor, see \ 61 C. 
For the houses of Minos and of l^briacuii, see §5 '49 C, 158 C. For the 
defendants of Belus, see § 133 C; of .'Eolus, below, § 132 (5); of Altolus, 
below, § 132 (5), and § 14U C; of Cecf ops and Erechtbcus, § 151 C 



(1} The race of Inachus, i 59 C. 

The dctcmdantf uf Pcl»gu«, 
(H 3«. 5V L) 



of Bcliu, 
Haute of Pnnaiii 



of Ageoor 



Houftcs of Mino» uid Labdacui 

(S'49C) tH6iC,l5aC) 



(3) The race of Deucalion ($ 95 C), and of his von, Hdlcn, % 13:1 ($) below. 

The descendanu of jdiitiu, of Dorus, of Xuihut, 

I (Aiihcxns and lontatit) 

The detcendanta of fclaitynuDn, Pcrwrcs, Delon, Sitypbui, Cretbeut, 
Athamas 

(3> The descendants of JGtolU [win uf Eodyaiiun), { tja (5) below. 

HouMs of Pnrlhaon and Thestitu 
W 148 CJ 

(4) The race of Cecrops. 

The descendann of Erecthooius ($ 151 C) 

Hoiuc of r«ndion and jCgrus 




Cepheus 



Andromeda *> ! 

49 other dauffhtcn (i 




P«nc« Electryon Alc«m 
Jupiter " Alcmene = Amphitryon 
Bercttles Iphicle* 

InterpretatiTe. — While Danatis is in fact, a native mythical hero of 
Argos, the story of hU arrival frum Kg>'pt is protuibly an attempt to explain 
the influence of Fgyptian civilizatiun upon the Greeks. The name Danafo 
meant Jroughr^ and may refer to the frc<|uent1y dry condition of the soil of 
Argoft. I'he fifty daaghtcrs of Uanaiis wuuld then br the nymphs of the many 
j/z-iA^ which in season refresh the land of Argotis. Their suitors, the fifty 
suns of /E^yptus, wuuM be the streams uf Arf;uli& that in the rniity months 
threaten to overflow their banks. But the springs by vanishing during the 
hot weather deprive the streams of water and consequently uf Hfc. That is 
to say, when the source* (Danalds) choose to stop supplies, the heads of the 
streams (the fifty youths of ArgoUs) are cut off. The reference to .'Egyjitiu 
■nU the sons of .'Kgyptus would indicate a reminiscence of the Nile and its 
tributaries, alternately overflowing and exhausted. The unsuccessful toil of 
the Danauls in Tartarus may have been suggcstf-d by the sandy nature of the 
Argive soil, and the leaky nature of the springs, now high, now low. Or it 




COAfMENTARY. 



469 



may typify, simply, any incessant fruilless labor. The name Hypermnestra 
signities cunslancy and luve. Dana^, thi: daughter of Acrisius, has been 
regarded at the dry earth, which under the rains of the golden spring-time 
bursts into verdure and bloom; or as the dark depths of the earth; or as 
the dawn, from which, shot throagh with (he golden rays of heaven, the youth- 
ful Sun is born.^ Advocates of the last theory would understand the voyage 
of Dana£ and Perseus as the tossing uf the sunbeams on the waters of the 
eastern horixon. The young Sun would next overcome the Gray-WOmeD, 
fonns of the gloaming, ami ihcii slay with his swurd of light the black cloud 
of the heavenly vault, the GorgOD, whose aspect is night and death. 

The Grxs anil the Gurgons may, with greater probability, be taken as 
person ill cations of the hidden horrors of the unknown nigbt-envclo|}ed ocean 
and the misty horizon whence storms come. In that case, the Grsese will be 
the gray clouds, and their one touth (or one eye) the harmless j^leam of the 
lightning; the Gorgons will be the heavy thunder-clouds, and their petrifying 
gaze the swift and fatal lightning-Hash. 

But there are stiU others who And in the Gorgon Medusa the wan visage 
of the moon, empress of the night, slain by the splendor of morning. The 
sandals of Hermes have, accordingly, been explained as the morning breeze, 
or even as the chariot of the sun. The invisible helmet may be the clouds 
under which the sun disappears. Compare the cloak of darkness in the Three 
Daughters of King O'llara; and the Sword of Sharpness in the Weaver's 
Son and the Giant of While Hill (Curtin'a .Myths of Ireland). 

Andromeda is variously deciphered : the tender dawn, which a storm-cloud 
would obscure and devour; the moon, which darkness, as a dragon, threatens 
to swallow; or some historic character that has passed into myth. Compare 
the contests of Perseus and the Dragon, Apollo an{I Pytho, Hercules and the 
Serpents, Cadmus an*! the Dragon of Mars, St. Ceurgc and the Dragon, Sieg- 
fried and the Worm (Fafnir). For a Gaelic Andromeda and PcrM^us see The 
"ITiirlcenth Son of the King of Erin (Curtin's Myths of Irclan<l). 

Perseus' flight to the Gardens of the Hesperides suggests, naturally, the 
circuit of the sun towar<i the flushing western horizon ; and, of course, he would 
here behold the giant Atlas, who, stationed where heaven and earth meet, 
«u«tains upon his shoulders the cekstial vault. 

The Doom of Acrisius reminds one of that of Hyaclnthus, The quoit 
suggests .the rays of the sun, and the name Acrisius may he construed to mean 
the " confused or gloomy heavens " (Roscher. Prcllcr. Mflllcr. etc.). 

Illustrative. — "The starred .'Ethiop queen": Casaio|>ea (Cassiepea, or 
Cn-islope) became a constellation. The sca-nymphs, however, had her placed 
in a part nf the heavens near the pole, where she ii half the time held with 
her head downward, to teach her humility. 

t This dawn theory is certainly far*fetclied. 




C/^SS/C AfYTHS IN ENGLISH UTERATUHE, 



Hm^OM!^* — ']'eni))-aan, PritKTSS, " Now lies the carlh «11 l>anBf ((> ihr sun. 
And all thy heart lies open unto mc." Translations of Stmonidcs' Lament ••■ 
Dftnaa, by W. C. Bnant and by J. H. Frcrc. Danaid : Chaacer, L. of G. W. 
ajOl (Hypermncstra and Lynccus^. 

Gorgona and Medusa, Spenser, Epithalamion, "And stand astoaut^ 
like to thuse which read Mcdusa't magct'ul head." Milton, K X. 2:611. 
62S; Comua (on .ligis and Gorgonj; Druniniond, The Statue nf Mctltoi. 
Gray, Hymn to Advcrtily; Armstrong, The Art of rrcMrving Healih; D. Ci. 
KosscUi, Aspecta Medusa; \.. Morris in the tipic of Hades; Tliomas (VinlnB 
Hake. Th? Infant Medusa (a sonnet). 

Aodromeda. — Miltun, P. L. 3:^59 (^he constellation) ; I.. Morris {}^^_ 
of Hades) ; W. Morris, Doom of King Acrtsius. 

Atlaa. — Shakcspcacc, 3 Hen. VI. 5:1; Milton, P. I* 4:987: it:, 
comparison of Satan and Atlas. 

Id Art. — I ilian's painting. Uanag and the Shower of UohJ; Conrggni^ 
Danac. Ancient sculpture, a Danaiil in the \'atican. 

Persens and Andromeda, painting hy kul^cns (Berlin). Sculpture, 
venutu Cellini's Perseus, and IVrseus saving .Andromedaj Canu\a's Pei 
(Vatican). 

Mednsa. — Crscco-Roman sculpture, Head of Dying Medusa (Villa 
visa, Rome); the beautiful Medusa Rondanini in Glyptothek. Munich; i 
oua illustrations of abhorrent Gitrgons in Roschcr 1707 ei jry., from 
seals, marbles, etc. 

Kodem Painting. — Ixonardo da Vinci, Head of Medusa. 

§ i^S. Textual. — The descent of Bellerophon is as fallows. See aUi> 

§ 132(5) t: — 

Deucalion « Pyrrtia 

Hcllcn 

,«o)us(f9;C) Atbs 

SUjrphiii ^ Merope (Pkiad] 

Gla Ileus 

Dctlcruplion 

Lycia> — In Asia Minor. T^e fountain Bippocrenei on the Muses* ihduu- 
lain Helicon, was opened by a Vick from the hoof of Pegasus. This horse 
belongs to the Muses, and has from time iromemunal liccn ridden by the ports. 
Krom the story of Bellerophon being unconsciously Ihc bearer cif bis tn»n 
dcalh-warranl, the expression " Bellerophontic letters" arose, to describe 
any species of communication which a person is made the bearer of, containing 
matter prejudicial to himself. Aleian field: a district in (. ilicia (Asia MtnorJ 

Interpretative. — Bellerophon is either '* he who appears In the 





COMMENTARY. 



471 



or "he who slays the cloofly monster." In either sense we have another sun- 
myth and sun.hero. He is the son of Glaucus, who, whether he be descended 
from Sisyphus, or from Neptune, U undoubtedly a sea-god. His horse, sprung 
from Medusa, the thundcr-cluud, when she falls under the sword of the sun, is 
Pegaaus^ the rain-cloud. In his contest with the Chimaera wc have a repeti- 
tion of the combat of Perseus and the sea monster. Bellcrophon is a heavenly 
Unight-crrant who slays the powers of storm and darkness. The earth, struck 
by his horse's hoof, bubbles into springs ( Kapp in Roschcr, — and Max Mfll- 
ler). At the end af the day, falling from heaven, this knight of the sun 
walks in melancholy the pale fields of the twilight. 

niustrative. — Milton (Bellerophon and Pegasus), P. L. 7: i; Spenser^ 
"Then whoso will with virluuus wing a&^ay To mount to heaven, on Pegasus 
must ride, And with sweet Poet's verse be glorified"; also K. Q. I. 9: 2i; 
Shakespeare, Taming the Shrew 4:4; iHen.IV.4:t; Hcn.V.jiy; Pope, 
Kssay on Criticism 150; Dunciad 3:162; Bums, To Ji»hii Taylor; Young's 
Night Thoughts Vol. 2 (on Bellerophontic letters). Hippocrene: Kcals, To 
a Nightingale. 

Poems. — \Vm. Morris, Hetlerophon in Argos and in Lycia (Earthly Para- 
dise); Longfellow's Pegasus in Pound; Bowring's translation of Schiller's 
Pegasus in Harness. 

In Art. — Bellcrophon and Pegasus, vase picture (Monuments inidits, etc., 
Rome and Paris, 1839-1874). 

§§ 1 39- 1 4 J. tor genealogy of Hercules, see 133 C Rhadamanthus : 
brother of Minos. Sec huiex. ThespiflB and Orchomenos: towns of Bcco- 
tia. Nemea: in Argolia, near Mycena*. Stymphaliaa lake ; in Arcadia. 

Pillars of Hercules. — Hie chosen device of Charles V. of tiermany rcprc- 
scnteil the Pillars of Hercules entuined by a scroll that bore his motto, " Plus 
Ultra" (still farther). This device, imprinted upon the German dollar, has 
been adopted as the sign of the American dollar ($). Dollar^ by the way, 
means coin 0/ the vailcy^ — German Thai. The silver of the first dollars came 
from JoBchimsthal in Bohemia, about 1518. Hesperides: the M'cstern sky 
at sunset, llie apples may have been suggested by stories of the oranges of 
Spain. The Cacus myth is thoroughly latinircd, but of Greek origin. The 
Aventine: one of the hills of Home. Colchis: in Asia, cast of the Fluxine 
and south of Caucasus. Hysia: province of Asia Minor, north of I.ydia. 
The river Phasis tluws through Colchis into the Euxine. For genealogy of 
Laomedon, see § 167 C Pylos: it is doubtful what city is intended. There 
were two such towns in Klis, and one in Messenia. The word means gate 
(see Iliad 5 : 397), and in the case of Hercules there may be some reference to 
his journey to the gale or Pyhs of Hades. For AlcestlSf sec % 81 ; for Pro- 
metheus, § 25; for the family of Dejanira, § I4S C Alcidea: descendant of 



472 Cl^SS/C MYTHS IN ENGUSM UTERATVJ^E, 

Atcseus; for Ifercules, see $ 133 C (Schalia: in lliessaly or In Euboi. 
HODOt (Eta : in llieaaly. The Pygmies : a nation of dwarfs, so called fron 
a. Greek woH meaning the cubil, or measure of about thirteen incbe^ 
which was said to t>c the height of these people. Thry lived near the soumi 
of the Nile, or, according to others in India. Homer tclk us that the cnne$ 
used to migrate every winter to the Pygmies' country, where, attacking the 
corn-fields, they precipitated war. 11. M. Stanley, in his last African cxpedi- 
lion, <liscuvered a race of diminalivc men that correspond furly ia appcaiADCC 
with those mentioned by Homer. 

Interpretative. — AH myths of the sun represent that luminary as stnig> 
gling against, and overcoming, monsters, or performing other laborious taiks 
in obedience to the ordcn of some tynuit of inferior spirit, but of I^i] 
aathority. Since the life of Hercules is composeil of such tnsk-s, it is easy to 
class him with other sun-heroes. But to construe his whole history and aO 
hts feats as symbolic of the sun's progress through the hcavetiSf beginning villi 
the labors performed in his eastern home and ending with the capture *>f Cer- 
berus in the underworld beyond the west, or to construe the subjects of the 
twelve labors as consciously recalling the twelve signs of the Zodiac is 
not only unwarranted, but absurd. To some extent Hercules is a sun-hefo; 
to some extent his adventures are fabulous history; to a greater extent both 
he and his adventures are the prorluct of generations of .'esthetic, bat primi- 
tive and fanciful, invention. The same statement holds true of nearly all 
the heroes and heroic deeds of mythology. As a matter of interest, it may be 
noted that the serpents that attacked Hercules in his cradle arc explained as 
powers of darkness which the sun destroys; and the cattle that he tended, as the 
clouds of moniirg. His choice between pleasure and duty, at the outset of his 
career, enforces, of course, a lesson of conduct. His lion's skin may denote 
the tawny cloud which the sun trails behind liiin as he lights his way through 
the vapors that he overcomes (Cox). 'X\\c slaughter of the Centaurs may 
be the dissiitation of these vapors. His insanity may denote the raging heat 
of the sun at noonday. The Nemcan lion may be a monster of cloud or 
darkness; the Hydra, a cloud that confines the kindly rains, or at times 
covers the heavens with numerous necks and heads of vapor. The Ccrynean 
Stag may be a golden-tinted cloufl that the sun chases; and Che Cattle of the 
Augean stables, ctnuds that refusing to burst in rain, resign the earth to 
drought and filth. The Hrymanihian boar and the Cretan bull are probably 
varied forms of the powers of darkness; so also the Stamphalian (Stympbalian) 
birds and the giant Cacus. Klnally, the scene of the hero's death is a " pic- 
ture of a sunset in wild confusion, the multitude of clouds hurrying hither and 
thither, now hirling, now revealing the mangled body of the sun." In this way 
Cox. and other interpreters of myth, would explain the aeries. But while the 



474 CLASSIC MYTHS IN ENGUSH UTE/iATVFE. 

tions uf the earliest aeafarizig and of the course of certain physical phenomoa 
hu far as the tiaditton of priniilive seafaring is concerned, it may rc/cr to aooe 
half-piratical expedition, the rith spvils of which might readily be known m 
the Golden Fleece. Su far as the physical tradition is concerned^ it may refet 
to the course of the year (,tbc Ram of the Golden Heecc being the fractifii- 
ing clouds that come and go across the .^-^can) or lo the process \ii funriae 
and sunset (?): Helle h<\\\^ the glimmering twilight that sinks into the sea; 
Phrixus, llie radiant sunlight; the Voyage of the Argo through the Syroplet- 
ades, the nocturnal journey of the sun down the west; the Oak with tk 
(■nidcn Fleece, a symlH>l of Che sunset which the dragon of darkness gank; 
the hre-brcathing Bulls, the advent of morning; the Oiiipring of the drago^ 
teeth, an image of the sunbeams leaping from eastern darknca*. Medei i» 
a typical wise-woman or wilch; daughter of llccatc and granddaughter ol 
Astoria, the starry heavens, she comes of a family skilled in magic. Her ■tnl 
Circe was even mure powerful in nccn.miancy than she. The Robe of 
Medea is the Kleece in another form. The death of Glance suggests ihsi 
of Hercules (in the flaming sunset?). JasOD is nn mnrc faithful to hi* SKi'eet- 
heart than other solar heroes — Hercules, Perseus, Apollo — are lo ibeif^ 
The sun must leave the colors and glories, the twilights and the clouds of 
to-day, for those of to-morrow. (See Roschcr, Lex. 530-537O The physical 
explanation is more than commonly plausible. But the numerous adventures 
uf the Argonauts are certainly survivals of various local legends that have bees 
consolidated and preserved in the artistic form of the myth. Jasori, t>i4son 
Is another Zeus, of the Ionian race, beloved by Medea, whose name, -the 
counselling woman," suggests a goddess. Perhaps Mctlea wtt% .i l.ioal llcra- 
Demeter, degraded to the rank of a heroine. The Symplegades may l*e a 
reminiscence of rolling and clashing icebergi; the dovc*iacidcnt occun in 
numerous ancient stories from that of Nuah down. If Medea be another 
personification of morning an<l evening twilight, then her dragons are ran 
of sunlight that precede her. More likely they are part of the usual eqtri- 
page of a witch, symbolizing wisdom, foreknowledge, swiftness, violence, and 
Oriental mystery. 

niaatrative. — The Argo, see Theodore Martin's translation of Catullus 
54 (Peleusand Thetis), fnr the memorable launch; Pope, St. Cecilia's Day. 
Jason : Shakespeare, M. of Venice 1 1 1 : 3:2. JBsoo : M. of Venice 5:1. 
Absyrtus: 2 llt-n, \^. 5 ; 2. Poems: Chaucer, l„ of G. W. ij66 (Vpsi- 
phile and Medea): W.Morris, Life and Death of Jason; Frederick Tenny- 
son, .^laon and King Athamas (in Daphne and Other Poems). Tbos Camp- 
bell's translation of the chorus in Euripides* Medea* beginning "Oh, haggard 
*|ucen \ to Athens dost thou guide thy glowing chariot." Translation* of Oic 
Medea i>f Euripidrs have Wen ma-lc bv Anjjusta Webster, 1868; by W- C, 
lawlou (Three Dramas of liuripidcs) 1889; and by WodhuUi see § il C. 




coAfi[fErrr^/iY. 



§ 148. Textual. 



Table K. 



The DeacendanU of Atolns (md of Eodyiiiion). 

Bndymloa 



JBtolas 



Cilydon 
Epiciuie 



I'leuron 
Ascoor 



Pon 



h»on 



Deinunice {M«n} 



Penbaea (1) - (Boeoa °- (a) Atttaa Pkvippui Toxeuit leda 



I 
Tydeus 

I 
Diomede 



I 
Heteacer 



ft) TyodareuB iSparat 
(») Jupiter 



DcJanlrA = Kereulei 



Cattor Glytcmncslra 
by Tytid^reHi 

(♦ 165 r) 



PdMux Helm 
by Jupiitr 



For general tabic, sec § 132 (5) C. 

Fur Calydon, sec InJe-x. The Arcadian AtalantA wu descended from 
the Areas who was son uf Jupiter and Calluto. Sec § 59 C. 

Interpretative. — Aulanta is the "unwearied maiden." She is the human 
counterpart of the huntress Diana- The story has, of course, been allegorically 
explained, but it bears numcroua marks of loca^ and historic origin. 

Illustrative. — Swinburne, Atalanta in Calydun; Margaret J. Preston. 
The Quenched Branch; Shakespeare, 2 Hen. IV. 2: 2; 2 Hen. VI. 1 : i. 

In Art. — The Mclcagcr (sculpture) in the Vatican. 

§ 149. The Descendants of Hinos I. (See, aIso, % 59* C) 



Tahlf l« 



Jupiter =: EuropA 



Kinot I. = lione 

I HeticH * Per«eit 

Lyca*Iu» | 

I ._ _ r" — ~j 



Cnteus 

Aeropo 
= Alrcus 

($ 165) 



Miooan. - PasJpha* Circe 

Fhcdra. 

^ TheMUB 



Ariadae 

« Theseus 
(I »5») 



Asteria — Pertci 



i€«tei = Kecaic 

Medea 

(i us) 



Interpretative. — Discrimination between Minoi T. and Minos U- is made 
in (he text, but is rarely observed. Minos, according to Preller, is the tobr 



476 



CLASSIC MYTHS fV ENGLISH LITEHATUfCE, 



Icing and hero of Crete; hU wife, Paslphat^, » the moi^n (who wju wor^ipped 
in Crete uiiiicr the form of a cow) ; and the Minotjur is the lord of the starry 
heavens which arc his laliyrinth. Others make PastphaSi whose name means, 
" shiner upon all,'* the bright heaven; and Minos (in accordance with his name, 
the Man, par txceUente)^ the thinker and measurer. A lawgiver on earth, 
the Humeric Minos readily becomes a judge in Hades. Variotu Canctful inter- 
pretatiuns, such as stomi'cloud, sun, etc., are given of the Dull. Cux explains 
the .Minotaur as night, devouring all things. The tribute from Athens may 
suggest some early suzerainty in politico and religion exercised by Crete over 
neighboring lands. For Msander, see Pope, Rape of Lock 5 : 65; Duociid 
1:64; 3:55- 

§ 150 Interpretative. — Daedalus is a representative of the earliest tech- 
nical skill, especially in wood-cutting, carving, and the plastic arts used for 
industrial purposes. His flight from one land to another signifies the iolrt-^ 
* duction of inventions into the countries concerned. The fall of Icanu 
was probably invented to explain the name of the Icarian Sea. 

Illustrative. — Daedalua: Chaucer, H. of F. 409. Icama: Shakcspearr, 
I Hen. VI. 4:6; 4:7: 3 Hen. VI. 5:6; poem on Icarus liy Bayard Taylor; 
travesty by J. G. Saxe. 

to Art. — Sculpture: Canova's Dicdalus and Icarus: painting by J. M. 
Vien; also by A. I'isano (Campanile, Klurcnce). 

$ 151. The descendants of Erichthonius are as follows: — 



Mt 



Pitth«os 



JUfMier 

Tanlaluk ($ 77 C) 
Pcloi» 



Atrcu* 
(f 165) 



I 



Tahi.e M, 



Brlchthoalus 

I 
I'iuidiou 1. 



Krechtheua pTOCBe PbilomeU 



^thra 



= t) AriailAe 
</. of Muwi II. () 149 C) 



['nndion II. CrvQu 

I =. (1) Apdiri - (•} Xmhiu 

^(Ceua I ll » C) 

lOB 

= j) Phxdnt 
.r.ifMiivHil. 



Theseus (S 159) 

x) Aniiopc (llippolyta) 
Hlppolytus 



Cecrops. — !>ee § 67. According tu unc tradition, Cecrups was auloch- 
thtmous an'l had one son, Frysichthon, who died without issue, and three 
daughters, HersC, Aglauros, and ran(iri>so» (personitications of Dew and its 
vivifying influences). According to another tradition he was of the line of 
EHclhonios, being either a son of Pandinn F.. or a son of Kcechthcus and a 



COMMENTAH K 



+77 



grandson of Pandion I. At any rate he was regarded as the founder of the 
worship of Athene and of various moral and civic inatitLtions. He is probably 
a hero of the PelasgUn race. 

Ion. — According to one tradition, the race of Erechtheus became extinct, 
save for Ion, a son of Apollo and CceOsa, daughter of Hrechthcus. This son, 
having been removed at birth, was brought up in Apollo's temple at Delphi, 
and, in accordance with the oracle of Apollo, afterward! adopted by Creilsa 
and ber husband Xatbus. Ion founded the new dynasty of Athens. But, 
according to Pausanias and ApoUodorus, the dynasty of Erechtheus was con- 
tinued by jBgeiu, who was either a son, or an adopted son, of Pandion II. 
By /Ethra he became father of Theseus, in whose veins Rowed, therefore, the 
bloud uf Pelops and of Erichthunius. 

Interpretative. — The story of Philomela was probably invented to 
account for the sad song of the nightingale. With her the swallow is asso- 
ciated as another much loved bird of spring. Occasionally Prucne is spoken 
of OS the nightingale, and Philomela as the swallow. 

Illustrative.— Chaucer, L. of G. W.. Philomela of Athens; Milton, II 
Pens.; Richard Bamticld. Song: "As it fell upon a day"; Thomson, Hymn 
un the Seasons; M. Arnold, The New Philomela; Swinburne, Itylus; Oscar 
Wilde, The Burden of Itys; Sir Thos. Noon Talfourd's grand drama, lor. 

§§ '52-157- TroBzen. — In Argolia. According to some, the Amazonian 
wife of Theseus was Hippolyta; but her Hercules haii already killed. The- 
aeus is said to have united the several tribes of Attica into one state, of 
which Athens was the capital. In commemoration of this important event, 
he instituted the festival of Panathensa, in honor of Minerva, the patron deity 
of .^thenB. This festival diflercd from the other Grecian games chiefly in two 
particulars. It was peculiar to the Athenians, and its chief feature was a 
solemn procession in which the Peplus, or sacred robe of Minerva, was carried 
to the Parthenon, and left on or before the statue of the goddess. The Peplus 
was covered with embroidery, worked by select virgins of the noblest families 
in Athens. The procession consisted of persons of all ages and both sexes. 
The old men carried olive branches in their hands, and the young men bore 
arms. The young women carried baskets an their heads, containing the sacred 
utensils, cakes, and all things necessary for the sacrifices l*lie procession 
formed the subject of the bas-reliefs which embellished the frieze of the 
temple of the Parthenon. A considerable portion of these sculptures is now 
in the British Museum among those known as the " Elgin marbles." We may 
mention here the other celebrated national games of the Grceki. Tlie first 
and roost distinguished were the Ol3nnpic. founded, it was said, by Jupiter him- 
self. They were celebrated at Olympia in Elis. Vast numbers uf spectators 
tlocked to them from every part of Greece, and from Asia, Africa, and Sicily. 




exercises of bodily strength an* 
aintl clo()Ucncc. Tliuft these gaij 
the best oppurtuntties tu present 
of the victon uas (lifTused far and] 

Interpretatire. — Xheseas is] 
significant in mural character, tiuj 
pre-eminent as the mythical statt 
usual perilous facility, be cxplaincj 
storm-cloud with its thunderbolts; 
may be forms of the power of dil 
heaven. Like Hercules, Theseus 
suppose, in »onie form or other), anJ 
Ariadne may be another twilight-s4 
and Dejanira, she must be deserte 
the "saintly." She was, prcsumab 
Crete, who, in process of time, like 
ine. Probably from her goddess-c 
vived, to he incorporated later wit 
female semblance of Bacchus, she 
vegetation; and, like IVoserpina, s 
and the melancholy of winter. Ity 
with star-worship as a moon-goddess 

Ulustratiye. — Chaucer. The Kn 
The House of Fame 407. and the 
spcarc. Two Gen. of Verona 4:1; M . 
S, and Hetcher, Two Noble KJ 




COMMENTARY. 



479 



Farewell Phsedra and Hippolytus: The llippolytus of Euripides; Swin- 
burne, Phardra; Browning, Artemis Prologiicca; M. P. Fitzgerald, The 
Crowned Hippolytus; A. Mary F. Robinson, The Crowned Hippolytus; 
L. Morris (Epic of Hades), Phaedra. On CeCTOpa: J. S. Blackie, The Nam- 
ing of Athens, Frcchtheus, by A. C Swinburne. 

In Art. —The Battle with the Amazons frequently recurs in ancient sculp* 
ture; The Sleeping Ariadne, of (he Vatican. Modern Sculpture : the Theseus 
of Canova (Volksgarlen, Vienna^; the Ariatlnr of I^aiinccker. IVmlings: 
Tintoretto's Ariadne and Bacchus; Tcschcndorff's Ariadne; Titian's Bacchus 
and Ariadne. 

§§ 158-164. The Royal Family of Thebes. 



Table N. 



AfCDOT 

Cadmus (( 6t C) 



Agave (Echion) 
Pendieuft 



Mcnceccus I. 



Menceceus 1 1 . 



Creon 

\ 



Jocaita 



Hxmon 



1 

Polytlorus 

LabdacuB 
- Laios 

I 

CEdipus => Jocasta 
Bteocles Poljmlces Anticone Ihucdc 



Illustrative. — (Kdipus: Plumptre's translation of CUdipusthc King,CF-di- 
pus Coloncus, and Antigone; Shelley, SwcUfooL the Tyrant; E. Fitzgerald, 
The Downfall and Death of King OCdipus; Sir F. H. Doyle, (F.dipua 
Tyrannus; Aubrey de Vcrc, Antigone; Emerson, The Sphinx; VV. B.Scott, 
The Sphinx; M. Arnold, Fragment of an Antigone. Tiresias: By Swin- 
burne, Tennyson, and Thomas Woolncr. 

In Art. — Ancient; CEdipus and the Sphinx, in Monuments fnrtiiU (konic, 
Paris, 1839-1878). Modern paintings; Teschcndorff's (F^iipus and Antigone, 
Antigone and Ismene. and Antigone; fF.riipus and ihc Sphinx, by J. D. A. 
Ingres; The Sphinx, by D. G. Rtissctti. 

§§ 158-176. Of the stories told in these sections no systematic, allegorical. 
or physica! interpretations are here given, because (O the general method 
followed by the unravellers of myth has already been sufficiently illustrated; 
(2) Ihc attempt to force symbolic conceptions into the lunger folk -stories, or 
into the artistic myths and epics f>f any country, is historically unwarranted and. 



480 



CLASSIC MYTHS AV BNGUSJf £.ITBRATURi 



in practice, is oaly too often capriciatts; (3) the effort to interpret sacli itqi 
as the Ilii^d aad the Odyssey must result in destmyu;^ tbuse eleiMDll 
unconscioua sunplicity &nd romantic vigor Chat cba/actcnze the products 
early creative iiuagiuatiyD. 

§ 165. Houses CoDcenied £11 the Trojan W^r. 



(i) Fa-mUf of Peleus and its 



tiona : ^— 






Tela-mofi ^wu 



T^etcus— Doni 



Thetis 



Aja* Teueei 

({{ 167, 168, i«9) 



ABtalUea 

Pyrrhui (NcgptolemitlJ t| f^j) 
- Henaioat 
d. of MeaelaQs and Helen 



(2) Family of Atreus and its connections: — 

JujHter 



Minof I. 
Lycastuf 
Minos n. 

Crateus 

Aiirope » Atreos 



emnon Me&elailt 

lytemnesira (§ 13a {5) C) 



Tantalus 



Pelops » Hippodamia 
(5 rj. (5) O 



Thyestea Pittfattnt 



AgSSU 

= Clyte 



Afiathua Xa 

Helen (| 13a (5) C) 



L 

(iCgeiu) 



Ipbigenia Blectra 



Chrysothemis Orestes 



Tbcseos 

HennioDC HipjK^ytus 



(x) Neoptolemus 



1) Orestes 



(3) Family of Tyndareus and its connections: — 

Pericres Thestius (J 148 C) 

i 1 I 

Tyndareus - Leda » JufMter 



Icarius 
Penelope 



Castor Clytemnestra Pollux 



Helen 
=> (i) Menelatls 
« (9) Paris 



COMMENTARY. 



481 



Castor and PuUux arc called sometimes Dioscuri (sons of Jove), sometimes 
Tyndaridie (sons of Tyndareus). Helen is frequently called Tyndaris, daugh- 
ter of Tyndareus. 

U) Descent of Ulysses and Penelope: — 



Hellen 

1 






1 


^ 




Icariui Tyndareus * 
Penelope _) 


1 
Cephaltu 
(Proem) 

Arcetiui 

Laiinci 

Ulysses 

(Tliaa) 


t 


1 1 
(Uly«s«s) CutM Clytemnestra 

Telenutchns 

(5J The Royal Family of Troy : — 

Japeuis 
AiL 


McDCEtlUA 

Patroclns 



Qectn CPI«ad) - Jupiter Toacor 

Daroanus = Bates 
I 



Crichthonius 

Traa 

) 



BosIL 
laomedon 



Aurora • TUhcnai 
Mem nun 



Hestonc 

(TelaraoaJ 

1 

Teucer 



Hecuba •• Priam 



I 1 

Rector Pans 

Vndromachc = (s) CEnonc 
I » (a) Helen 

Aftiyanax 



Deiphobus Helentu Trailua Cassandni 



rohi 



A«earacus 



AncfiiiCi » Venue 

Aneas - Cictiu 
Ascanlua 

I - I (luliuj 



Cretlia 



Polyxena 



§ i66. C. S. Calyerley's The Sons of Lcds, from Theocritus. Leda: 
Spenser. Prothalamion; Lander, I-oss of Memory. 

§ 167. On Ihc niad and on Troy: Keats, Sonnet on Chapman's Homer; 
Milton, P. L. 1:578; 9:16; 11 Pens. ic»; Hartley Coleridge, Sonnet on 
Homer; T. B. Aldn'ch, Pillared Arch and Sculptured Tower; the Sonnets of 
Ijing and Myers prefixed to Lang, Myers, and Leafs translation of the Iliad. 




482 



CI^SS/C MYTHS AV ENCLISii UTEfiATURE. 



On the Judgment of Puis: George Peele, Arraignment of Taxis; J: 
Bcatlic, Judgment of Paris; Tcnnywn, Drc&m of Fair women; J. &. BUckie, 
Jodgmeot of Paris. See, for allusioiu, Shakespeare, AIl'i Well 1:3; 1:3; 
HcilV.2:4; Truil. and Crcasida i : I ; z:2; 3:1; Rom. and Jul. I : X; 3:4; 
4 ; I ; 5:3. On Helen : A. Lang, Helen of Troy, and bis translation *A 
llieocritus XVIIl.; l^ndor, Mcnclaus and Helen; G. P. Lathrop, Helen at 
the LAHjm (Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 32, 1873). See Shakespeare, M. N. Dreaa 
i:l; 3:2; 4:1; All's Well I : I ; 1:3; 2:2; Roa». and Jul. 2:4; Truil. 
and Creasida 2: 2; Marlowe, Faustos (Helen appeals before Fausl). 

In Art. — Homer: the sketch by Raphael (in the Museum, Vcnicc). 
Faintings: Sir Frederick I^ighton, Helen of Troy; Paris and Helen, by 
David; The Judgment of Paris, by Rubens; by Watteau. Sculpture: Csnora's 
Paris. Crayons: D. G. Rossetti's Helen. 

Iphigenia and Agamemnon: On pp. 288 and 311. in accordance with 
Goethe's practice, the name Tnuris is given to the land of the Tauri. To be 
correct one should say, " Tpfaigenta among the Taurl," or " Tauriaos." (See 
fm/ex.) Iphigcnia and Agamemnon by W. S. I.andor; also his Shatles of 
Agamemnon and Iphigenia; Dr)'dcn, Cymon and Iphigcnia; Richard Gamctt. 
Iphigenia in Delphi; Sir Edwin Arnold, Iphigt^nia; W H. Scott, Iphigcnia 
at Aulis. Any translations of Goethe's Iphigenia in Tnuris Q^nd of Euripides' 
Iphigcnia in Aulis and Among the Tauri; also of .i-Ischylus' Agamcranon: 
— such as those by Milmnn. Anna Swnnwick, Mumptrc, E. A. Mor&hcad. 
J. S. Ulackie, H. Fitzgerald, and Robert Browning. For Agamemnon, see 
Shakespeare, Troil. and Crcssida 1:3; 3:i; 2:3: 3:3; 4:5; 5:1; and 
James Thomson, Agamemnon (a drama). The Trollua and Cresaida story 
is not found in (jrcck and Latin classics. Shakespeare fi>llow!» Chaucer's 
TroHiis and Creseide, which is based upon the Fdostrato of Boccaccio. On 
MenelauB. lice notes to Helen and Agamemnon. 

In Art. Iphigenia (paintings): E. Ilubncr; William Kaulbach; £. 
TescbcutJorft. 

§ 16S. Achilles. — Chaucer, H. of F. 398: Dethc of Blaunche 329; Lan- 
dor, Peleus and Thetis; Sir Theodore Martin, translation of Catullus I.XIV. ; 
Translation by C. M. Gayley as quoted in text, § 165 tf. Sec also Shakespeare, 
Troil. and Cresaida; 2 Hen. VI. 5: l; Love's L. L. 5:2; Milton, P. I_ 9: 15. 

In Art. — FUucman, Kight for the Body of Patroclus; Wiertz (Wierti 
Museom, BruM>cls). Fight fur the Body of Achilles. Pompcian wall-paint- 
ings: Chiron and Achilles, Achilles carried from Scyros, AchiUes bereft of 
Briseis; the Feast of Peleus, by Hurne-Jones (picture). 

Ajax. — Pluraptre, Ajax of Sophodes. Shakespeare, Troll, and Cressitla; 
Love's L. L. 4 : 3; 5:2; Taming of Shrew 3:1; Ant. and Geo. 4:2; Lcax 
2:2; CymbeL 4: 2; George Crabbe. The Village. 





COMAfEJVTARY. 



In Art. — The ancient sculpture, Ajax (or Menelafis) of the Vatican. 
Modem sculpture, I'he Ajax of C-anova. Flaxnian's outline drawings for the 
lUad. 

Hector and Andromache. -'Mrs. Browning, HcctM and Andromache, a 
paraphrase of Homer; C. T. llrooks, Schiller's Parting of Hector and An- 
(Jrumachc. Sec alito Shakespeare, Troil. and Crcssida; Love's U [.. 5:2; 
aUcn. IV. 2:4; Ant. ami Clco. 4:8. 

lo Art. — Hector, Ajax, Parts, .Eneas, Patroclus, Teucer, etc., among the 
/T*^ina Marbles (dlyptathek, Munich); Ftaxman'a outline sketches of Hector 
dragged by Achilles, Priam supplicating Achilles, Hector's Funeral, An- 
dromache fainting on the walls of Troy; C'anova's (sculpture) Hector; 
Thorwaldscn's frelief) Hector and Andromache. 

Priam aDd Hecuba. — Ilic tran^tlations of F.uripides' Hecuba and Troadcs; 
.Shakespeare, Troit. and Cres.; Coriol 1:3; Cvmbet. 4:3; Hamlet 2:2; 
2 Hen. IV, I : I. 

§ 169. Polyxena. — W. S. T^ndor, The Espousals of Polyxcna. Philoc- 
tetes: translation of Sophocles by Plumptre; Sonnet by Wordsworth; Urania 
by ijou\ de Tabley. (Knone.sce A. I^ang's Helen of Troy; \V. Morris, Death 
of Paris (Earthly Paradise); Landor, Corythos (son of LEnone); the 
Death of Paris and (Knone; Tennyson, CEnooe; also (he Death of f En one, 
which is not so good. 

The story of the death of Corythus, the son of CEnone and Paris, at the 
hands of his father, who was jealous of Helen's tenderness toward the youth, 
is a later myth, Iml cxtjuisitcly pathetic. 

Slnon. — Shakespeare, 3 Hen. VI. 3:2; Cymbcl. 3:4; lltus Andron. 

5:3- 

LaocoOn. — I.. Morris, in the Epic of Hades. See Frothingham's transla- 
tion of I^ssing's Laocofin (a most important discussion of the Laoco6n 
group and of principles of festhetics). See also Swift's Description of a Ci^ 
Shower. 

Id Art. — The original of the celebrated group (statuary^ oF Laoco5n and 
his children in the embrace of the serpents is in the Vatican in Rome. 

§ 170. Cassandra. — Chaucer, Troilus nnd Creseide; Dethc of Blaunche, 
1246. Poems by W. M. Pracd and D. G. Rossctti. Sec Troil. and Cressida 
l:i; 2:2; 5:3; Lord Lytton's translation of Schiller's Cassandra. 

In Art. — The Cassandra of Dante Gahriel Rossetti (in ink). 

Orestes and Electra. — Translations of the Eleclra of Sophocles, the 
IJbalion-pourers and the Eumenides of /Eschylu*. by Plumptre; and of the 
Orestes and Electra of Euripides, by WodhulL Lord de Tabley, Orestes Ta 
drama); Byron, Childe Harold 4; Milton, sonnet, "The repeated air of sad 
Electra's poet," etc. 



484 



CLASS/C MYTHS FN ENGLTSff LITER ATUitE, 



In Art. — CfDecD'Romaa iculpture: Orestes and Fjrladcs And Ipfaifss 
among the Taurians; Pompcian Fresco; Orestes and Electra (Villa Ladoga, 
Kumc); Orestes ati'i Electra (National Museum, Naples). Vase painliBji. 
Orestes alayinf; ^4CgUlhiu; OrcMes at Delphi; PuritScatiun of Orestes, Mo.* 
ern painting ; KlccLra, by Tcscliendorff, by Sicfert, 

Clytemneatra, The Death of, by W. S. Landor; Clytemneslra, bf L 
Morris, in the Epic of Hades. 

Troy : Byron, in his Bride of Abydos, thus describes the appearance W 
the deserted scene where once stood Troy : — 

" The winds are high, and Helle's tide 
RoDi darkly heaving to the main ; 
And night's descending shadows bide 

That 6e]d with blood bedewed in vain. 
Tlie desert of old Priam's pride. 
The tombs, sole relics of his reign. 
All — save immortal dreams that could beguile 
The blind old man of Scios rocky isle." 

On Troy the following references will be valuable : Acland, H. W^ T^e 
Plains of Troy, a v. Ix)nd. : 1839; Schliemann, H., Troy and its Remaifis. 
lx>nd.: 1875; Ilios. Lond. : 18S1; Truja, results of latest researches on At 
site of Homcr*8 Troy, I^ond. : 1882; Armstrong, W. J., Atlantic Mo. * 
33: 173 (1874), Over Ilium and Ida; Jebb, R. C. Jour. Hellenic Studies fc 
2:7, Homeric and Hellenic Ilium; Fortn. Rev., A'. 5. 35: 4331 (1884)* 
Homeric Troy. 

§ 171. Tlic Odyssey: Lang, Sonnet, "As one that for a weary space h» 
tain," prefixed tn Butcher and Lang's Odyssey. Translations by W. Morris 
G. H. Palmer, Chapman, Bryant, Pope. Ulysses: Tcnnj-son; Lander* The 
Last of Ulysses, See also Shakespeare, Tn>il. and Crcsaida; 3 Hen. VL 
3:3: Coriol 1:3; Milton. F. L. 2:1019; Comas 637; R. Buchanaa. 
Qoudland; Pope, Rape of Lttck 4 : 182. 

In Art. — Ul>*sscs giving Wine to Polyphemus, Escaping (irona the Cate. 
Summoning Tiresias. With the Sirens, in Afonuments hucfifs (Rome aatl 
Paris, 1 839- 1 878); Meeting with Nausicaa (CJerhard's vase pictures); outline 
drawings of Ulysses weeping at the song of Demodocus, boring out the eye of 
Polyphemus, Ulysses killing the suitors, Mercury conducting the souls of the 
suitors. Ulysses and his dog, etc., by Flaxman. 

Penelope: Poems by R. Buchanan, E. C Stedman. and W, S. Landor. 
In ancient sculpture, the Penelope in the Vatican. Modem painting by 

C. F. Marchal. In crayons by D. G. Rossetti. 
Circe: M. Arnold, The Strayed Reveller; Hood, Lycus, the CenUur; 

D. G. RosBctli, The Wine of Circe; Saxc, The Spell of Circe. See Shake- 




COMMENTARY. 



485 



speue. Com. Errors 5:1; i Hen. VI, 5:3; Milton, Comus 50, 153,253, 
522; Pope, Satire 8: 166; Cowper, Progress of Error; O. W. Holmes, Metri- 
cal Essay; Keats, Endymiou, " I sue not for my happy crown again," etc. 

On Sirens and Scylla see §§ 52-54 C; S. Daniel, Ulysses and the Siren; 
Lowell, The Sirens. Scylla and Charybdis have become proverbial to denote 
opposite dangers besetting one's course. 

Calypso: Pope, Mural Essays 2:45; poem by Edgar Fawcett (Patnam's 
Mag. I4t 1869). K^nelon, in his romance of Tclcmachus, h«s given us the 
adventures of the son of Ulysses in search of his father. Among other places 
which he visited, following on his father's footsteps, was Calypso's isle; as 
in the former case, the goddess tried every art to keep the youth with her, 
and oETered to share her immortality with him. But Mtnerva, who, in the 
shape of Mentor, accompanied him and govemcfi all his movements, made 
him repel her allurements. Finally when no other means of escape could he 
found, the two friends leaped from a cliff into the sea, and swam lo a vesspl 
which lay becalmed off shore. Byron alludes to this leap of Telcmachus and 
Mentur tn the stanza of Childe Harold beginning, '* But not in silence pass 
Calypso's isles," 2 : 29. Calypso's isle is said to be Goza. 

In Art. — Circe and the Companions of Ulysses, a painting by Briton Ri- 
viere. Circe, in cravims; Siren, in crayons; Sea-Spell, in oil, D. G. Kossetli. 

I 172. Homer's description of the ships of the Plueacians has been thought 
to look like an anticipation of the wonders of modem steam navigation. See 
the address of Alcinoiis to Ulysses, promising " wondrous ships, self-moved, 
instinct with mind," etc., Od. lik. 8. 

Lord Carlisle, in his Diary in the Turkish and Greek Waters, thus speaks 
of Corfu, which he considers to be the ancient Ph^eacian island: — 

"The sites explain the Odyssey. The temple of the sea-god could not have 
been more fitly placed, upon a grassy platform of the most clastic turf, on the 
brow of a crag commanding harbor, and channel, an(! ocean. Just at the 
entrance of the inner harbor there is a picturesque rock with a small convent 
perched upon it, which by one legend U the transformed pinnace of Ulysses. 

" Almost the only river in the island is just at the proper distance from the 
probable site of the city and palace of the king, to justify the princess Nau- 
sicaa having had resort to her chariot and to luncheon when she went with 
the maidens of the court to wash their garments" 

§ 174. Poem, Tennyson, To Vergil, "Roman Vergil, thou that aingest 
[lion's lofty temples, roherl in fire," etc £neas and Ancllises: Chaucer, 
H. of F. 165; 140-470 (Pictures of Troy); Shakespeare, Troil. and Cresfiida; 
Tempest, 2:1; 2Hen. VI. 5:2; Jul. C«s. 1:2: Ant. and Cleo. 4: 2; Ham- 
let 2:2; Waller, Panegyric to the Lord Protector (The Stilling of Neptune's 
Stonn> 



486 



CLASSIC MYTUS LV ENGUS/I UTERATURE, 



Xo Art- — The Vergil of Raphael (drawing in the Masetmi, Venice); ibe 
>Hncasof the i^^na Marbles (Glyptothek, Munich). 

Dido: Chaucer, I., of G. W. 92J; Sir Thomas Wyatt, The Song of lopas 
(untinishcd); MatIowc, Tngedy of Dido, Queen of Carthage; Shakespeare, 
Ant and Cleu. 4: 12; Titua Andrun. 2:3; Hamlet 3:2. Palinams: see 
Scott'a Marmion. Introd. to Canto I. (with reference to the death of William 
Pitt). 

In Art. — P. Gu^rin's painting, .luieas at the Court of Uido; Raphael. 
Dido; Turner, Dido building Carthage. 

The Sibyl. The following lcgen<l of the Sibyl ii fixed at a later date. In 
the reign of one uf the Tarquins there appeared Itefore the king a woman who 
offered him nine books fur sa.le. The king refused to purchase them, where- 
upon the woman went away and burned three of the books, and returning 
offered the remaining books for (he &ame price she bad asked for the nine. 
The king again rejected them; but when the woman, after burning three 
books more, returned ami asked for the three remaining the same price which 
she had before asked for the nine, his curiosity was excited, and he purchased 
the books. They were found to contain the destinies of the Roman state. 
They were kept in the temple of Jupiter Capitolinus, preserved in a stone 
chest, and allowed to be inspected only by especial ofticcrs appointed fur rbat 
duty, who on great occasions consulted them and interpreted their oracles lo 
the people. 

There were various Sibyls; but the Cumaean Sibyl, of whom Ovid and Ver- 
gil write, is the must celebrated of them. Ovid's story of her life protracted 
to one thousand years may be intended to represent the various Sibyls as 
being only reappearances of one and the same individual. 

Uluatrative. — Young, in the Night Thoughts, alludes lo the Sibyl. Sec 
also Shakespeare, i Hen. Vt. t : 3; Othello 3:4. 

In Art. — The Sibyls in Michael .\ngclo's frescos in the Sistine Chapel, 
Rome; the Luroxan Stbyl of Domenichino; Elihu Vedder's Cumacan Sibyl. 

\ 175. Rhadamantlius : K. W. Gosse, Tlie Island of the Ble«L XantA- 
lus: CoMTper, The Progress of Error; U Morris, Epic of Hades; W. W. 
Story, Tantalus. See % 107 C Ixion: {% 107 C) poem by Browning in Joco- 
seria. See Pope, St. Cecilia's Day 67; Rape of I^ock 2:133. Sts3rphus : 
(§ 107 C) Lord Lytton, Death and Sis>'phu5: L. Morris in Epic of Hades. 

The teachings of Anchises to .Uneas, respecting the nature of the human 
soul, were in conformity with the -loctrines of the Pythagoreans. Pythagoras 
(t>om atx)ut 540 B.c.^ was a native of the island of Samos, but passed the 
chief portion of his life at Crotona in Italy. He is therefore sometimes 
called "the Samian." and sometimes "the philosopher of Crotona." When 
young he travelled extensively, and is said to have visited Egypt, where he 




instructed by the priests, and to have afterwards journeyed to the East, where 
he visited Iht^ Persian and Chaldean Magi, and the Brahmins of India. He 
established himself at Crotona; enjoined sobriety, temperance, simplicity, and 
silence upon his throngs of disciples. Ipse Dixit (Pythagoras said so) was to 
be held l^y them as suificient proof of anything. Only advanced pupils might 
que«tii»n. Pythagoras considered numbers as the essence and principle of all 
things, and attributed to ihem a real and distinct existence; so that, in his 
view, they were the elements out of which the universe was constructed. 

As the numbers proceed from the monatl or unit, so he regarded the pure 
and simple essence of the Deity as the source of all the forms of nature. 
Gods, demons, and hLTocs are emanations of the Supreme, and there is a 
fourth emanation, the human soul. This is immortal, and when freed from 
the fetters of the body, passes to the habitation of the dead, where it remains 
till it returns to the world, to dwell in some other human or animal body; 
at last, when sufficiently purified, it returns to the source from which it 
proceeded. This doctrine of the transmigration of souls (metempsychosis), 
which was originally Kgyptian and connected with the doctrine of reward and 
punishment of human actions, was the chief reason why the Pythagoreans killed 
no animals. Dvid represents Pythagoras saying that in the time of the Trojan 
War he was Euphorbus, the son of Panlhus, and fell by the spear of Menelaus. 
Lately, he said, he had recognized his shield banging among the trophies in 
the Temple of Junu at Argos. 

On Metem psychosis, see the essay in the Spectator (No. 343) on the 
Transmigration of Souls; Shakespeare, M. of Venice (Gratiano to Shylock), 

Harmony of the Spheres. — The relation of the notes of the musical scale 
to numbers, whcretiy harnumy results from priipOTtinnal vihratitms of 5«iund, 
and discord from the reverse, led Pythagoras to apply the word "harmony" 
to the visible crcatiim, meaning by it the just adaptation of parts to each 
other. This is the idea which Uryden expresses in the Inrginning of his song 
for St. Cecilia's Day, " From harmony, from heavenly harmony. This everlast- 
ing frame began." 

In the centre of the universe (as Pythagoras taught) there was a central 
fire, the principle of life- The central fire was surrounded by the earth, the 
moon, the sun, and the five planets. The distances of the various heavenly 
bo<lies from one another were conceived tu correspond to the proportions of 
the musical scale. Sec M. of Venice, Act V. (I.orenio and Jessica), for the 
Music of the Spheres; also Milton, Hymn to the Nativity. See Longfellow's 
Verses to a Child, and Occultation of Orion, for Pythagoras as inventor of the 
lyre. 

§ 176. Camilla. — Pope, illustrating the rule that "the sound should be 
an echo to the sense." says, — 




488 



t7^4SS/C MYTHS AV ENGUSH UTEKATUiCh. 



*' When Ajax strives some rock's vnsi weight to throw. 
The line, too, Uibor« and the words move slow. 
Not so when swifl Camtlta scours the pUio, 
Flies u'er th' uubending com or skinu along the main." 

— Ssiay am Criticism, 

§5 I77-I8*. On None mythology, kc R. B. Andcrion'« None Mylhology, 
or the Religion of our Forefathers, Chicago: 1875; Anderson's Mora's Scan- 
tlinavian Literature (S, C. Griggi 6c Co.). Chicago: 1884; Dasent's Populat 
Talcs from the Norse (^transl. from P. C vUbjfirnscn), N.Y.: 1859; Thorpe's 
translation of Sxmund's Edda, 2 v., Lond. : 1866; Kelindic Puctty or Edda 
of Sicmund transl. into English verse, A. S. Collie, Bristol: 1797; AugaMx 
Larned's Tales from the Norse Grandmother, N. Y. : iJWii; H. \V. Mabie's 
Nofse Stories, Boston: 1^2. A critical edition of the Elder Edda is So- 
phus Bugge's, Christiania: 1867, The Younger Eddji: Edda Snorra Sturlt- 
sonar,3v. Mefniac, 1S4&-52, by Thorleif JonBon, Copenhagen: 1875; Traii»- 
lalion: Anderson's Younger Edda (S. C Griggs & Co.), Chicago: iSSo 
(sec references at foot of pp. .SO-33 and in § 185 C). Illustrative poems: 
Gray, Ode on the Descent of Odin, Ode on the Fatal Sisters; Matthew 
Arnold's Balder Dead; Longfellow's Tegner's Drapa, on Balder's Death; 
The Funeral of ItaMcr, by William Morris, In The Lovers of Gudrun (Earthly 
Paradise); Robert Buchanan's Balder the Ucauliful; W. M. W. Call. Balder, 
and Thor. Sydney DobcH's Balder doe* not rehearse the Norse myth. It is 
a poem dealing u-ith the spiritual maladies of the time* of wonderful excellence 
in parts, hut confused and uaevcn. Longfellow's Saga of King Olaf (the 
Musician's Talc, Wayside Inn) is from the Meiinskringla or Book of Stories 
of the Kings, edited by Snorri Sturlason, Many of the cantos of the Saga 
tbruw light on Norse mythology. See also the Hon. Rouen Noel's Ragnarok 
(in the Modern Fausl), for an ethical muditication of the ancient thenjc. 

Antes (the Asa-folk. **iir, etc.). — The word probably means ^<»//, amctf 
trai spirit, — of such kind ai the Matics of the Romans. Tlie derii'ation may 
be from the root AXt to brcathct whence animus (Vigfussun and Powell. 
Corp. Poet. 1:515)* According to Jordanes. the .\nses were demigods, 
ancestors of royal races. The main cult of the older religion was ancestor- 
worship, Thor and Woden being worshipped by a tribe, but each family having 
its own ansest or deified ancestors (Corp. Poet. 2:413). Elf was anothct^ 
name used of spirits of the dead. Later it sinks to the significance of ** fairy." 
Indeed, say Vigfusson and Powell, half our ideas alx>ut fairies arc derived from 
the heathen beliefs as to the spirits of the dead, their purity, kindliness, homes 
in hillocks (cf. the Irish " fulk of the hills," /?a«jA/«. etc. ) (Corp. Puct. 2 ; 418), 

The Norse Religion consists evidently of two distinct strata: the lower, of 
gods, that are personihcations of natural forces, or deified heroes, with regn- 




COMMEffTARY. 



489 



lar sacrifices, with belief in ghosts, etc.; the upper, of doctrines introduced 
by Christianity. To the latter belong the Last Battle to be fought by Warrior- 
Angels and the Elect against the Beast, the Dragun, and the Demons of 
Hrc (Corp. Poet. 2: 459). 

Odin or Woden was ^r&t the god of the heaven, or heaven itself, then hus- 
band of earth, god of war and of wisdom, lord of the ravens, lord of the gallows 
(which was called Woden's tree or Woden's steed). Frigga is Mother Earth. 
Thor i» the lord of the hammer — the thunderbolt, the adversary of giants and 
all oppressors of man. lie is dear to man, always connected with earth, — 
the huiiband of Sif (the Norse Ceres). His goat-drawn car makes the 
rumbling of the thunder. Freyr means Aw*/; patron of the Swedes, harvest* 
god. Balder means also ^on/ or king. On the one hand, his attributes recall 
those' uf Apollo; on the other hand, his story appeals to, and is colored by, 
the Christian iinaglnatiun. He Is another Agure of that radiant type to which 
belong all bright and genial herues, righters of wrong, blazing to consume 
evil, gentle and strong to uplift weakness : Apollo, Hercules, Perseus, Achilles, 
Sigurd, St. George, and many another. Hoder is the " adversary." 

Nanna, Tt.ilder's w-ifc, is the ensamplc of constancy; her name is maiden. 

§ 1 85. The Volsunga Saga. — The songs of the Elder Edda, from which 
Eirikr Magn6sson and Willara Morris draw their admirable Story of the Vfil- 
sungs and the Niblungs (London, 1870), are The Lay of Helgi Hunding's- 
Bane, The Lay of Sigrdrifa, The Short Lay of Sigurd, The Hell-Ride of 
Br}'nhiUI. The I.ay of Brj'nbild, The Ancient lay of Gudrun, The Song of 
Atli, The Whetting of Gudrun, Tlie Lay of Hamdir, The Lament of Oddrun. 
For translations of these fragments, sec pp. 167-270 o^ the volume mentioned 
above. For the originals and literal translations of these and other None 
lays of importance, see Vigfusson and Powell's Corpus Porticum Borealt : 
and Vigfusson's Sturlunga Saga. 2 vob. For the stor>' of Sigurd, read William 
Morris' admirable and spirited epic, Sigurd the Volsung. Illustrative of the 
Norse Spirit are Motherwell's Battle- Flag of Sigurd, the Wooing Song of 
Jarl Egill Skallagrim. and the Sword Chant of Thorstein Raudi; also Dora 
Greenwell's Battle-Flag of Sigurd; and Charles Kingslcy's Longbeard's Saga, 
in Hypatia. 

The Nibelangenlied. — The little book entitled Echoes from Mis! Land, 
by Auber Forestier (Griggs & Co., Chicago, 1877) will be of value to the 
beginner. Other translations arc made by k. G. Foster-liarham (Lond. : 
1887) and by W. N. Lettsom, The Fall of the Nibclungcrs (Ix)nd.: 1874). 
both in verse. See also T. Carlyle, Nibelungenlied (Oil. MisccU.) Essays. 
2:220. Modern German editions by Simrock, Bartsch. Marbach, and Ger- 
lach are procurable. The edition by Werner Hahn (Ucbcrsctzung d. Hand- 
schrift .^, CoUcctioa Spcmann Berlin u. Stuttgart) has been used in the prepi- 



490 



CLASSIC MYTHS AV ENGUSU UTERATURE. 



ration of this account. The original was published iu part by Bodmer ifl 
1757; later, in full by C. H. Myllcr, by K, K- Lachmann, Nibclunge Nfli 
mit der Klage, i8z6; by K. F. Bartsch. Der Nibelunge Ndc. 3 v. in 3, 187CH 
1S80. and in rfeiffer's Deutsch. Clasftik. de« Mittelah. v. 3, 1S73; &nd (j 
olbers (see James Sime's XiMmmgenJied, Eocyc Brit.). Of manreUc 
artiitic and anti<|uanan wurth were Dr. \V. Jordan's Studies and Reci 
of the Nibelunge. which comprised the Siegfried Saga, and Hildebraad 
Return. LspecuUly of artistic vaiue is Richard Wagner's series of 
The Ring of the Nibclungs hnished in 1876. The composer is r 
not only for the musical score, but for the text and scenic arraogcmeDts 
four of the grandest musical dramas that the world has possessed : Rhini 
Gold. Siegfried, The Valkyrias, and The Twilight of the Gods. In p&inti 
especially famous are Schnorr von Carolsfeld's wall-pictures illustrative of 
Nibelungcnlicd, in the royal palace at Manich; also the illustrations of 
four operas by J. Hoffmann, and byTh. Tixis. Sec, also, under ^rt/iAii/i, p, 5403 

$$ 185, (86. Historically: Siegfried has been identified, ^'oriously, wi 
(1) the great (.^ruian warrior Arminius (or Hermann), the son of Sigimcr, 
chief of the tribe of the Chcrusci. who inhabited the southern part of what 
now Hanover and Brunswick; bom iS b.c and trained in the Roman army, 
in the year 9 a (» he overcame with fearful slaughter the Roman lyr&nta ol 
Germany, defeating the Roman commander Varus and his legions in th« 
Tculoburg Forest in the Valley of the I.ippe; (2) Sigibcrt, king of th« 
Ripuarian Franks, who in 50S A.D. was treacherously slain while taking a 
mid-day nap in the forest; (3) Sigibert, king of the Austmsian Franks whose 
history recalls more than one event of the Sigurd and Siegfried stories; foe 
he discovered a treasure, fought with and overcame foreign nations, the Hun^ 
the Saxons, the Danes, and finally in consequence of a cjuarrel between hi« 
wife BrCnhilde and his sister-in-law Fredegundc, was, in 576 A.r>. assassinate^ 
by the leuiners of the Utter; (4) Julius, or Claudius Civilis, the leader <4 
the Kfllavi in the revolt against Rome, 69-70 A.D. It is probable that iJ 
Sigurd and Siegfried we have recollections combined of two or more ol 
these historic characters. 

Mythologically* — Sigurd (of the shining eyes that no roan might face 
unabashed) has l>een regarded as a reflection of the god Balder. 

Gunoar and Ganther arc, historically, recognircd in a slightly knowtt' 
king of the Burgundians, Gundicar, who with his people was oven*helmed 
the Huns in 437 a.i>. 

Atli and Ktzel are poetic idealizations of the renowned Hunnish chieftai 
Attila. who united under his rule the German and Slavonic nations, ravag 
the Eastern Roman Empire between 445 and 450 A.P., and. invading ih«| 
Western Empire, was defeated by the Romans in the gical battle of Uia! 
sQr Marne. 4S<' ''^ died 4S4 A.n. 





COMMENTARY, 



Dietricb of Berne (Verona) bean some very flight resemblance to Theo- 
doric, the Ostrogoth, who, between 493 and 526 a.d., ruled from Italy what 
had been the Western Empire, in these poems, however, his earlier illus- 
trious career is overlooked; he is merely a refugee in the court of the Hun- 
ntsh king; and, even so, is confounded with uncles of his who bad been 
retainers of Attila : far the historic Theodoric was not born until two years 
after the historic Attila's death. 

These historic figures were, of course, merely suggestions for, or contribu- 
tions to, the great heroes of the epics, not prututypes; the same is true of 
any apparently confirmed historic forerunners of Brynhild, or Gutlrun, or 
Kriemhild. The mythological cunncctiun of these epics with the Norse myths 
of the seasons, Sigurd being Balder of the spring, and Hogni Hoder of win- 
ter and darkness, is ingenious; but, except as reminding us of the mythic 
material which the bards were likely to recall and utilize, it is not of material 
worth. 

in the Nurse version, the name Niblung ts interchangeable with the 
patronymic GiakiDg, — it is the name of the family that ruins Sigurd. But, in 
the German vcniun, the name is uf purely mythical import : the Nibelungs are 
not a human race; none but Siegfried may have intercourse with them. The 
land of the Nibelungs is equally vague in the German poem; it is at one time 
an island, again a mountain, and in one manu.script it is confounded with Nor- 
way. But mythically it is connected with Niflheim, the kingdom of Hela, the 
shadowy realm of death. The earth, that gathers to her bosom the dea<I, 
cherishes also in her bosom the hoard of gold. Naturally, therefore, the hoard 
is guarded by All>eric, the dwarf, for dwarfs have always preferred the 
underworld. So (according to Werner iiahn, and others) there is a deep 
mythical meaning in the Lay of the Nibelungs: beings that dwell far from the 
light of day; or that, possessing the riches of mortality, march toward the 
land of death. 




A FEW 



RULES FOR THE ENGLISH PRONUNCLATION 



OF 



GREEK AND LATIN PROPER NAMES. 



[TA^Mf nties vfitl covtr moti esses, hut they art mot intsndwd to rxhautt tkt smfy'tct. 
Tkt rgtsdrr is rrferrtH to tkt Latin grammars and the English dictionaries.^ 



: 



I. Quaniity. — The rrader rauit first ascertain whether the second last 
syllable of the word is long, tn general a syllable is long in quantity: 

(1) If it contain a Uiphlhong, or a long vowel: Bnu-cvAj Ac-Zaf-on, Mhi\%t 
O-n-on, /75-nL 

(2) rf its vowel, whether long or short, is fullowet) by J, j*, or s, or by any 
two consonants except a mule and a liquid : ,^'-jax, Meg-a-f4d>£us, A-^/raj'-tus. 

Note {a). — Sometimes twu vowels come together without furming a 
diphthong. In such cases the dixreais is, in this volume, used to indicate 
the division; /^. Mcn-e-la'tfj, Pe-ne'iK;. 

iVtf/f {b). — The syilnbU formed by a short vowel before a route with /or r, 
is sometimes long and sometimes sliort; e^. Cle-O'/^iV-tra, or CIc-op'-cr-traj 
Pa-/>'5'-clus, or Pat'-r5-clua. 

II. Accent. — 

(1) The accent may be principal, or subordinate : HcIMes pon'-tus. 

(2) The principal accent falls on the second last syllable {penult^ : Ara- 
phi-tri'-tc; or on the third last syllable (antepenHU) : Ara-phil'-ry-on. 

(a) In words of two syllables, it falls on the penult: Cir'-ce. 
(J) In words of more than two syllalilcs, it falls on the penult when that 
syllable is long; otherwise, on the antepenult: .€-nc'-as. Her'-cu-lcs. 

(3) The subordinate accent: 

(a) If only two syllables precede the principal accent, the subordinate 
accent falls on the first syllable of the word : //»)>*-/(t-cre'ne. 

(i) If more than two syllables precede the principal accent, the laws gov- 
crning the principal accent apply to those preceding syllables: Ca^si-o-^V-^. 



4